The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

A Fair Election Means Investigating the USPS’s Mail Delays

Armand Yazdani

Posted on August 13, 2020 19:09

2 users

As the new head of the USPS delays deliveries and eliminates overtime prior to election season, the operations of the organization should be investigated to ensure fairer voting.

As the United States' 2020 presidential elections arrive, many Americans will be voting through mail. For those who do opt for mail-in voting, they likely find it simpler and more efficient than flocking to voting booths. 

In particular, the US Postal Services will assume a pivotal role in this election. With many voters reliant on the USPS to receive voting pamphlets, slower deliveries could unfairly impact how many Americans vote. And with the new head of the USPS, Louis DeJoy, being a donor of President Donald Trump, the speed of the company's deliveries become more questionable. The change in the USPS' operations should therefore be investigated to ensure a fair, free and fruitful election. 

Granted the USPS has been losing money during the COVID-19 pandemic, its losses don't justify the slower deliveries during election season. The Postal Service estimates it will lose $13 billion this fiscal year, which is a steep drop. And when the USPS' Board of Governors requested $75 billion in relief, the Trump Administration instead offered $10 billion in debt if the Postal Service could raise the price of packages by four times. Such measures would only incentivize the USPS to slow down deliveries, which they have done. Under DeJoy, late-arriving mail shall be left till the next day and overtime shall be eliminated. Inconveniencing the delivery of mail will only serve to decelerate the voting process. 

Moreover, the head of the USPS is a major Trump donor, which makes this operational shift all the more suspicious. As the first postmaster general in two decades not to rise through the ranks to attain this position, DeJoy is both a significant Trump and RNC donor. The head of the USPS has donated millions of dollars to the RNC. And it's not coincidental that the president has railed against mail-in voting for supposedly containing much fraud. With this administration pledging to curb voting through mail, it's convenient that the Postal Service slow its deliveries. 

In delaying and discouraging mail-in voting, the White House and Postal Service could limit the voting capacity of many Americans. According to data from Pew Research Center, about 21% of Americans voted by mail in 2016 compared to 7.8% in 1996. Given this rising trend, more voters will likely want to vote by mail this coming election. In 2016, an overwhelming 97% of Oregonians and Washingtonians voted by mail. Delaying or curbing mail-in voting means delaying and or disincentivizing these voters who vote by mail. 

With the advent of the Postal Service's new postmaster general being a top Trump donor along with plans to delay some deliveries before the election, the USPS' operations ought to be investigated. It isn't a coincidence that the USPS' operational pivot could affect absentee voting, aligning with the White House's agenda to curb mail-in voting. Elimination of overtime and delaying mail deliveries prior to an election can discourage voters reliant on mail-in voting. 

Armand Yazdani

Posted on August 13, 2020 19:09

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Source: Forbes

Voters can’t cite a lack of immunity to the coronavirus as a reason for getting a mail-in ballot, the court ruled.

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest