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‘Out to Lunch’ — USPS apologizes for Broadway post office Primary week closures

(Image: @SymonPerriman via TwitteR)

(Image: @SymonPerriman via TwitteR)

It was even more glaring in the final days before last Tuesday’s primary election. Customers of the Broadway post office were reporting a curious schedule at the Capitol Hill United States Postal Service facility. People trying to mail packages or drop off their ballots were finding the Broadway/Denny post office shuttered in the middle of the day for a 90-minute lunch break. Here is one report sent to CHS:

Just got back from trying to mail my ballot at the Broadway post office and the doors were locked with a small crowd outside trying to gain entry and there were post office employees at the location. No explanation or sign on the door. A bit concerning as its an election cycle this week.

We asked USPS what was going on. Turns out, there was, indeed, something fishy about that schedule. A USPS spokesperson has sent this clarification and apology about the situation:

Post Offices in small rural areas often do close at lunch time because of staffing levels.  However, that is not the case in metropolitan areas, such as the City of Seattle.  The closure of the Broadway Station was not scheduled and was a mistake.  Steps have been taken to be sure it does not happen again.  We do apologize to those customers who were inconvenienced as a result of this error.

“The closure should not have had an effect on the mailing of election ballots,” the spokesperson said. “Customers only needed to drop them in a collection box to ensure that they got that day’s postmark.”

The spokesperson said he could not discuss if any employees faced disciplinary action over the closures.

USPS is currently searching for a new home for its Broadway post office as the current building is slated for demolition as part of a planned new mixed-use development.


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14 thoughts on “‘Out to Lunch’ — USPS apologizes for Broadway post office Primary week closures” -- All CHS Comments are held for moderation before publishing

  1. So, what if someone needed to buy a stamp to mail their ballot? I always have a supply of stamps on hand, but I know that many people do not.

    • If you did not know the King County Elections will accept postage due if there’s not enough postage on the envelope and I assume this also means that KC Elections will accept postage due for the entire amount if there’s no postage attached. I do not know that’s the case, but it’s what I assume since KC Elections has made it known that they will accept mail with postage due if not enough was applied.

      • I’ve tried mailing a ballot without any postage, and while it usually goes through okay, the last time I tried it the ballot was in my incoming mailbox the next time I check the mail. There was no “Insufficient Postage” inkstamp on it, so my guess is that the carrier saw it didn’t have any postage, didn’t know that KC Elections accepts non-stamped envelopes, and put it back in my box before even taking it to the post office.

    • Stamps are sold in many places, including the nearby QFCs.

      Which is no excuse to close the post office, mind you, but at least they’re gettable.

  2. Service at the Broadway branch of the USPS has been in decline for years. At one point they had a sign in the box lobby that said mail would be sorted by 9 am. Later the sign was changed to 10 am. Later than that the sign was taken down. Mail is often not sorted by noon! Sometimes all the mail for that day is not sorted that day. From all appearances there are only three employees working. If there’s a backup of customers waiting for service in the main lobby no mail will get sorted.

    Overnight even in Seattle is hit or miss. Sometimes it happens but a lot of the time it doesn’t happen.

    The USPS is in trouble and of course the Republicans in congress could not be happier. Their hope is that the USPS goes into decline and fails so they can get their cronies’ private businesses to take over the USPS function. It’s always about the money that they can make.

    • I don’t think that they do any real sorting there anymore. Nor is any delivery done from there. Most of the space that had been used for that is now used for PO Boxes that were moved over from the CD. Service here *has* really declined over the years, but there are some really great clerks here. Just too few to keep up with demand at busy times.

      • They *do* have to sort the mail that comes in for the PO boxes. That was the reason for my saying that at one time they had a notice that box mail would be sorted by 9, then 10 and then no sign at all.

  3. Do bear in mind people are on tight schedules in the middle of the day and trying to vote by mail the day prior to an election when this happened. Not everyone would have a situation allowing to find stamps elsewhere. With that logic I should apologize for not shooting a deer to make my own buckskin clothing or building my own house to show how uber self sufficient and take-personal -responsibility-for-the-universe–at-all-times I am. Getting back on the horse (which of course I would have broken from wild stock myself) to seek out stamps elsewhere, that should be nothin then. Let alone a ninety minute lunch. I only get ninety minutes for lunch on days off. Post Office messed up and got caught.

    • Lunches at the post office are unpaid and are dictated by management . It’s probably an hour to keep the clerk later to close . The extra 30 minutes are the 2 fifteen minute coffee breaks that are customary in most work places . The reason they combine them is because they probably only had one clerk qualified to work the window and it’s impractical to close 3 different times during the day .

  4. Wow, what a slip. Glad they’ve sorted it out (no pun intended), but it’s true, service at the post office has gone down. I agree with Eric, though – some of the clerks who’ve been there for years are great. The infrastructure just isn’t there anymore. I would HATE to lose the USPS in Capitol Hill.

  5. Blame the GOP who are trying to close the USPS and give the biz to UPS & FED EX. Guessing a letter to bumflick, maine will not cost .50 cents then.

    i have shipped over 9,000 packages thru this branch. the line is infuriating but the staff is amazing and thorough. only 3 packages in 19 years have gone missing. they do a GREAT JOB.

    STAFF OUR POST OFFICE for the sake of the customers and the hardworking employees.

    • If you mail that many packages, you should go with printing postage online. Significant savings, often more than 25%. only does priority, but other companies can provide postage printing. Also carrier can pick up at your home or business and save you waiting in line.

  6. It is very bizarre for the post office to be closed mid-day for lunch. That being said, ballots were available weeks before the final day. If you plan in general that all things will go well on a deadline, one should not be surprised or blame anyone other than oneself if things don’t go as planned. If you have a job interview at 10, plan to arrive at 930, assuming there will be an accident or disruption along the way. If you plan on voting by Tuesday, mail your darn ballot by Monday. If in life, you are not early, you are late.