This is a huge story that deserves so much more attention than it’s been given. The November election will require a functioning, and dare we say, robust postal system in order for ballots to be counted in a timely manner. That what makes the Washington Post story on Friday so disturbing.
“The U.S. Postal Service is experiencing days-long backlogs of mail across the country after a top Trump donor running the agency put in place new procedures described as cost-cutting efforts, alarming postal workers who warn that the policies could undermine their ability to deliver ballots on time for the November election.”
Understand that many states have provisions that say ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day (November 3rd) to be counted. The Post adds, “postal employees and union officials say the changes implemented by Trump fundraiser-turned-postmaster general Louis DeJoy are contributing to a growing perception that mail delays are the result of a political effort to undermine absentee voting.”
So what’s happening with the Postal Service? Louis DeJoy was made Postmaster General by Donald Trump. Earlier this month, DeJoy, who has donated more than $2 million to GOP committees in the last four years, instituted cost-saving measures, according to the Post. They include “prohibiting overtime pay, shutting down sorting machines early and requiring letter carriers to leave mail behind when necessary to avoid extra trips or late delivery on routes.”
The cost-cutting has already led to delays in delivery, and workers fear without overtime, it will only get worse. Add to that the focus on states using mail-in ballots Could make the election a delivery disaster.
Donald K. Sherman, deputy director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and Sylvia Albert, director of voting and elections at Common Cause write for NBC News:
”In normal times, the selection of a postmaster general of the United States is unlikely to generate significant attention from the public. However, these are not normal times. Without increased and sustained scrutiny of DeJoy’s leadership of the Postal Service, our democracy could face dire consequences.”
Meanwhile, Donald Trumps growing efforts at delegitimization of the vote has Republicans concerned, fearing that the president will depress his own vote share by telling supporters they shouldn’t vote by mail.