X

Potential Snag in Mail Voting: Post Office Backlogs

New changes in procedure causing letters to back up: Washington Post
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2020 4:15 PM CDT

(Newser) – Mail is piling up at post offices, and employees are worried that November election ballots could be delayed. The backlog has been building since the new postmaster general and President Trump ally, Louis DeJoy, enacted changes at the Postal Service this month that were billed as needed to cut costs, the Washington Post reports. They include turning off mail sorting machines early, requiring letter carriers to leave without some mail to avoid making extra trips or late deliveries, and ending overtime pay. Trump, who has called the post office "a joke," this week floated the idea of postponing the election rather than having widespread voting by mail. He cited the potential for fraud, but workers and union officials say the new changes could at least bring chaos. "I'm actually terrified to see election season under the new procedure," said a union local president in New York.

story continues below

DeJoy took office in June. In announcing the changes, Vice points out, he said the Postal Service will trade delayed mail in exchange for saving money. A spokesman said the changes are necessary after decades of financial problems. Any delays are temporary, he said, adding that DeJoy was appointed by a bipartisan board and doesn't take his marching orders from Trump. But a union president representing 200,000 workers and retirees put his objections on the record in a meeting with DeJoy. "It's wrong for the people of the country, it's wrong for the public Postal Service," he said. "It drives away business and revenue." Four Democratic senators asked DeJoy for more information this week, saying his lack of transparency "only increases concerns that service compromises will grow in advance of the election." (Read more US Postal Service stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.