Laced between Instagram stories about the California wildfires, the Black Lives Matter movement and COVID-19 are graphics encouraging people to support the U.S. Postal Service - but why exactly does the Postal Service need help?
Though the movement to help the Postal Service is popular due to the upcoming election, the economical struggles being faced by the organization are not new.
According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the service has lost around $69 billion over the last 11 years. The Government agency also reported that the “USPS cannot fund its current level of services and financial obligations from its revenues.”
An increase in concern over slowed mail delivery and disappearing mail drop-off boxes grew after Postmaster General Louis DeJoy became head of the Postal Service in June. This is because DeJoy instituted policies he believed would help the Postal Service save money. These policies include having trucks leave before they are fully filled, reducing the number of drop-off boxes across the country, and limiting the use of expensive mail-sorting machines.
The consequences of these changes, specifically the slowed transportation of mail, concerned many individuals due to the upcoming presidential election. Because of the pandemic, nine states will only be utilizing mail-in ballots. 34 states will be providing mail-in ballots to all their voters in addition to standard voting methods.
Delayed deliveries paired with the influx of mail-in ballots have many individuals worried that votes will not be counted on time, if at all.
Though DeJoy decided that the changes he initiated this past summer will be postponed until after the November election, the new policies will continue to affect those who use and work for the Postal Service.
The delivery of crucial medication incarcerated individuals’ communication with their attorneys and families, and the employment of 7.3 million people, 97,000 being veterans can all be affected by the new changes.
As a result, people are calling on Congress to pass bills that could aid the Postal Service., such as The Heroes Act. This bill would supply the Postal Service with $25 billion to alleviate the monetary strain the pandemic caused the organization.
Petitions are also being created and shared, all in support of the Postal Service.