Anticipating an avalanche of absentee ballots, the U.S. Postal Service recently sent detailed letters to 46 states and D.C. warning that it cannot guarantee all ballots cast by mail for the November election will arrive in time to be counted — adding another layer of uncertainty ahead of the high-stakes presidential contest.
The letters sketch a grim possibility for the tens of millions of Americans eligible for a mail-in ballot this fall: Even if people follow all of their state’s election rules, the pace of Postal Service delivery may disqualify their votes.
The Postal Service’s warnings of potential disenfranchisement came as the agency undergoes a sweeping organizational and policy overhaul amid dire financial conditions. Cost-cutting moves have already delayed mail delivery by as much as a week in some places, and a new decision to decommission 10 percent of the Postal Service’s sorting machines sparked widespread concern the slowdowns will only worsen. Rank-and-file postal workers say the move is ill-timed and could sharply diminish the speedy processing of flat mail, including letters and ballots.
But, wait; there’s more!
The Post Office Is Deactivating Mail Sorting Machines Ahead of the Election
The United States Postal Service is removing mail sorting machines from facilities around the country without any official explanation or reason given, Motherboard has learned through interviews with postal workers and union officials. In many cases, these are the same machines that would be tasked with sorting ballots, calling into question promises made by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy that the USPS has “ample capacity” to handle the predicted surge in mail-in ballots.
Postal carriers union endorses Biden, warns that ‘survival’ of USPS is at stake
Joe Biden gained the presidential endorsement of the National Association of Letter Carriers on Friday, a union that boasts nearly 300,000 active and retired postal workers.
“Vice President Biden is — was — and will continue to be — a fierce ally and defender of the United States Postal Service (USPS), letter carriers, and our fellow postal brothers and sisters,” NALC president Fredric Rolando said in a statement that also praised Democratic vice presidential pick Kamala Harris.
“Together, Biden and Harris fully exhibit the experience, dedication, thoughtfulness and steady hands that will work to ensure that letter carriers and working families are put first,” he said.
PSA and please take it seriously!