Senators Shaheen, Hassan Urge USPS to Fix Delays and Avoid Cost Increases for Election MailAugust 13, 2020
Letter Follows President Trump Threat to Block Postal Funding in Effort to Try to Limit Mail-In Voting
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan joined Senate Democrats in urging U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to answer questions about recent changes to long-standing practices at the United States Postal Service (USPS) that would result in increased delivery times and costs for election mail, and calling on him not to take any further action that makes it harder and more expensive for states and election jurisdictions to mail ballots.
The letter builds on the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation’s outreach to DeJoy earlier this week raising concerns over mail delays in New Hampshire.
Despite reports of slow delivery, mail left sitting in facilities overnight, and challenges delivering absentee ballots on time to election officials, DeJoy has refused to provide Congress with satisfactory answers on the actions he has taken and continues to assert that election officials must pay the First Class rate for election mail to be prioritized.
“Like voting itself, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is vital to our democracy. Since you assumed the role of Postmaster General, there have been disturbing reports regarding changes at USPS that are causing significant delays in the delivery of mail. Under normal circumstances, delayed mail is a major problem – during a pandemic in the middle of a presidential election, it is catastrophic,” the lawmakers wrote.
“Instead of taking steps to increase your agency’s ability to deliver for the American people, you are implementing policy changes that make matters worse, and the Postal Service is reportedly considering changes that would increase costs for states at a time when millions of Americans are relying on voting by mail to exercise their right to vote.
“We have received reports that in the last several weeks, the Postal Service sent letters to state election officials that indicate that the Postal Service will not automatically treat all election mail as First Class. If any changes are made to longstanding practices of moving election mail just months ahead of the 2020 general election, it will cause further delays to election mail that will disenfranchise voters and put significant financial pressure on election jurisdictions.”
The full text of the letter can be found HERE.
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