A federal judge ordered Tuesday the United States Postal Service (USPS) to expedite their efforts for rush delivery of mail-in ballots as deadline looms in many states on Election Day.

US District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington, D.C gave the USPS time until 3 p.m. EDT (2000GMT) to “ensure that no ballots have been held up” in regions where processing mail-in ballots have been lagging.

Judge Sullivan also ordered Sunday that the USPS must reinforce “special procedures” and “extraordinary measures” to use its express mail network in order to deliver every possible ballot before deadline on Election Day.

“The Postal Service continues to implement extraordinary measures to advance and expedite the delivery of the nation’s ballots,” USPS Chief Retail and Delivery Officer Kristin Seaver said in a statement on Oct. 29.

“These efforts include extra pick-ups, extra deliveries, and delivery units running regular collections on Sunday,” she added.

The USPS noted that the average time of mail delivery, including ballots, has been 2.5 days since Oct. 1, and added that it has processed and delivered more than 122 million ballots since Sept. 4, which include both blank and completed ones.

With 35 million in-person early voting and 65 million ballots cast by mail due to COVID-19, a record 100 million Americans voted early this year, while more than 50 million are expected to cast their ballots in person on Election Day.

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.