Postal Maek

FILE PHOTO: A postal worker wears a mask while delivering packages on West Walnut Street in Lancaster city Monday, March 23, 2020. 

For the past five years, some mail meant for the Lancaster County government center at 150 N. Queen Street has been misdelivered to 150 S. Queen Street.

This mix-up usually is fixed when Nina Moragne, who is the CEO of the Lancaster Early Education Center at the S. Queen Street address, crosses out the barcodes added to envelopes by the post office and sticks them back in the mail. She receives several pieces of mail intended for the county each week. About a dozen county departments are run out of the county government building.

In the past week, approximately four pieces of mail intended for the county elections’ office were returned to the Lancaster Early Education Center, no matter how many times Moragne put them back in the mailbox. 

No ballots were mistakenly sent to the Lancaster Early Education Center. Instead, the misdelivered envelopes likely contained voter registration forms, mail-in ballot applications or other election-related mail. At least one of these pieces of mail was incorrectly addressed by the sender, but that envelope clearly identified the Lancaster County government center as its intended destination.

After an inquiry on Friday by LNP | LancasterOnline, county elections chief clerk Randall Wenger walked the six city blocks to retrieve the mail being held by Moragne. Wenger also provided his contact information to Moragne so that she can notify his office directly when she receives mail intended for the county.

Wenger was unaware of this issue until it was brought to his attention by LNP | LancasterOnline inquiry. He noted that mail-in ballots come with a pre-addressed envelope that ensures they will be delivered to the county building. He added that it’s the U.S. Postal Service -- not the Lancaster County government -- that’s responsible for delivering mail.

Moragne said she had tried to contact the post office on multiple occasions about this issue. She is also concerned mail meant for her -- like a donor's check that was not delivered to the education center -- may be misdelivered to the county building.

The early education center does not have a consistent mail carrier. She said mail carriers have told her in the past that the route her business is on is not a desirable one for carriers because it is especially long. 

“When I saw it was voter registration or for the election board, I was absolutely more concerned, especially knowing people are really concerned about mailing in their ballots,” she said. “It even made me a little skeptical.”

She said she was especially concerned because Pennsylvania’s voter registration deadline is Monday.

A USPS spokesperson said he was unaware of this issue, but that mail sent to the North and South Queen St. addresses will be “monitored daily by USPS supervision to ensure accurate delivery.”

Desai Abdul-Razzaaq, the spokesperson for USPS’ Central Pennsylvania region, said a supervisor was traveling to Lancaster on Friday afternoon to meet with Moragne and would discuss the issue with the mail carrier assigned to that route. 

Moragne said if she gets any future mail, she will contact Wenger directly.

“I just want people to feel at ease that it’s going to get where it needs to go,” Moragne said. “I promise I’ll call up Randall and make sure he gets what he needs.”

Pennsylvanians who want to register to vote or request a mail-in ballot can do so online at VotesPA.com, or by calling the county elections office at 717-299-8293.