USPS' financial challenges may impact mail-in voting

2020 election: USPS personnel seem alarm about new insurance policies that could have an effect on mail in voting, Washington Article studies

Citing a number of postal employees and union leaders, the Submit described that areas of the nation are encountering at the very least a two-day delay in obtaining mail, together with for convey mail, as a end result of the US Postal Service’s new insurance policies.

The latest backlog is worsening to the stage exactly where personnel anxiety they will not be in a position to find all voters’ ballots in time for them to be processed, the newspaper documented.

The new methods for the USPS had been laid out in a memo earlier this thirty day period and come beneath the leadership of Postmaster Typical Louis DeJoy, a longtime Donald Trump supporter and fundraiser, who stepped into his purpose in June.
Trump has been a vocal critic of quite a few states’ expanding mail-in voting, in spite of utilizing that solution to solid his individual ballot. As he presently trails his 2020 rival Joe Biden in the polls, Trump claimed on Thursday that delays processing the mail-in votes would undermine the legitimacy of the November 3 election and prompt delaying it, while the power to set the election day lies with Congress. There is no proof of prevalent voter fraud involved with vote by mail.

In a statement to CNN Thursday, the USPS acknowledged some “non permanent service impacts” from the modern changes but disputed worries that its expense chopping and performance measures place in put by DeJoy will interfere with timely delivery of mail-in votes.

“To be clear however, and in spite of any assertions to the contrary, we are not slowing down Election Mail or any other mail. Alternatively, we proceed to utilize a robust and established method to make certain proper handling of all Election Mail constant with our specifications,” USPS spokesperson David Partenheimer reported.

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The new guidelines include hours becoming lower again within just the US Postal Company, in accordance to the memo obtained by CNN that displays conversing factors provided to USPS professionals across the place on July 10.

According to the memo, time beyond regulation, such as late visits and extra outings by USPS personnel, is no lengthier approved or acknowledged. This is defined as a expense reducing measure that could conserve the financially struggling USPS all around $200 million.

“Just one element of these modifications that may well be hard for workforce is that, quickly — we might see mail still left at the rear of or mail on the workroom flooring or docks … which is not common,” reads the memo.

The memo states any mail left guiding will be reported with the “root leads to” of the delays dealt with the following working day, with the intention of the quantity of delayed mail shrinking around time, but the truth of that remains unclear as the variations are new.

The Washington Publish documented that bins of mail if not completely ready for delivery have been remaining in write-up offices due to the scheduling and route modifications, and letter carriers are sorting extra mail by themselves, raising the delivery time. US Rep. Andy Kim of New Jersey very last week wrote to DeJoy, expressing that his constituents have been going through shipping and delivery delays for more than a few times.
DeJoy claimed in a statement Monday that the Postal Service is in a “financially unsustainable place” and that the agency requires to “acquire a clean glimpse at our functions and make needed changes” to function competently.

Partenheimer said in the assertion that any “such impacts will be monitored and temporary as the root results in of any challenges will be addressed as necessary and corrected as proper.”

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He went on to say that DeJoy is not beholden to the impact of Trump and that the “notion that the Postmaster Standard tends to make decisions concerning the Postal Service at the course of the President is wholly misplaced and off-base.”

The USPS’ monetary struggles are not new, but the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the trouble and taken its toll on the agency’s workers. Former Postmaster General Megan Brennan had warned the company would operate out of funds by September if monetary support was not offered.
On Wednesday, the Treasury Section declared that it attained an arrangement with USPS on the “phrases and circumstances” for $10 billion in the type of financial loans — funding the office and President Donald Trump experienced blocked unless of course the USPS manufactured reforms.

“Whilst the USPS is able to fund its functioning costs with out extra borrowing at this time, we are pleased to have arrived at an arrangement on the substance conditions and situations of a loan, must the require arise,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin mentioned in a assertion.

The union’s president, Mark Dimondstein, had previously explained to CNN that acquiring the emergency funding the USPS asked for is important for postal workers to proceed carrying out their task, together with ensuring vote by mail ballots are dealt with adequately.

“If the funding would not arrive by way of, almost everything we do, together with vote by mail will be considerably tougher,” Dimondstein explained to CNN.

CNN’s Mary Kay Mallonee, Ellie Kaufman and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.

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