The political issues around the USPS have been out of the spotlight for a little while now, but if you still haven’t heard about what’s going on, here’s a recap.
In mid-August, President Trump stated, “They need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” in an interview with Maria Bartiromo. In this quote, Trump is referring to the Democrat’s in Congress’s request for $3.6 billion in aid for states to run their elections smoothly this November, as well as $25 billion to the United States Postal Service. You may be wondering why these requests have caused such an uproar and have garnered such intense rejection from Trump.
It has become apparent that Trump believes that increased funding to the USPS will result in an increase in the use of mail-in ballots in this coming election. Why is this an issue you may ask? According to The New York Times, Trump has stated on record that, “mail ballots, they cheat,”. President Trump appears to believe that if it is easier and more efficient for voters to mail in their ballots instead of going to vote in person amid this global pandemic, that an increased amount of voter fraud will occur. According to a CNN poll, 34% of voters are stating that they intend to use mail-in ballots this year, as opposed to the 24% of voters that used this method of voting in the 2016 election.
Trump isn’t just attacking the USPS through the media, he has also taken a hands-on approach to sabotaging the strength and efficiency of this government service. In early August, Trump fired 23 USPS executives, as well as implementing a hiring freeze that will make it nearly impossible for these executives to be replaced in time for mail-in ballots to be collected promptly. Letters have been sent from the Postal Service to 40 states warning that mail-in and absentee ballots may not be delivered in time for the election.
Trump isn’t only removing USPS executives, but he is removing the blue USPS mailing boxes around the country. After public outcry, Postmaster General Louis Dejoy has stated that certain measures enacted in recent months, such as limiting post office hours, removing the blue USPS mailboxes, and eliminating overtime for mail carriers, will be halted until after the 2020 presidential election in November.
Saving the USPS is not a lost cause, however. Some ways that you can help support your local post office and the USPS as a whole include buying stamps, as well as official USPS merchandise. Use those stamps to send your friends back home a letter. Send your mom a postcard from your college town. Stamps are relatively inexpensive and receiving a handwritten note means a lot in the digital age.
The USPS and voting rights in general should not be a political war ground, and it is unacceptable for us to sit back and watch this presidential administration sabotage a fair and equal election.