Elaine Thompson/AP

Postal Service puts some closures on hold during elections

State officials express concern the process could disrupt mail-in and absentee voting.

The U.S. Postal Service will suspend closures of some processing facilities and post offices to address concerns from state officials that the absentee and mail-in voting process could be disrupted during the November elections, according to The Washington Post.

The Postal Service announced last month that it would begin the process of shuttering or consolidating more than 223 processing centers to cut down on costs.

The Post reported that USPS is suspending some of the closures during the election season in response to concerns from officials in several states including Arizona, California, Ohio and Oregon, who complained that the move could confuse voters trying to mail ballots close to deadlines.

The first round of closings and consolidations will begin May 15 and be completed by the end of August. USPS will meet with states holding primaries during the closures “to address the questions and concerns of election boards, political candidates and mailers,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in a statement Wednesday. The next round of closings will wait until 2013.

For states that are promoting voting by mail, the separate plan to study 3,600 post offices -- many in rural areas -- for possible closure “will not adversely affect the voting process as customers have many ways in which to deposit mail, including with their carrier, with a retail partner, at a collection box location, or at a neighboring office within reasonable distance to their current location,” Donahoe said.