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Home / Business / Election 2020: USPS workers sound alarmed over new policies that could affect postal voting, Washington Post reports

Election 2020: USPS workers sound alarmed over new policies that could affect postal voting, Washington Post reports



Quoting multiple postal workers and union leaders, the Post reported that parts of the country are experiencing at least a two-day delay in receiving mail, including for express mail, as a result of the policies new U.S. Postal Service.

The current background is deteriorating to the point where workers fear they will not be able to find all voters ’votes in time to be processed, the newspaper reported.

The new procedures for the USPS were set out in a memorandum earlier this month and fall under the leadership of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a longtime supporter of Donald Trump and a fundraiser, who added his role in June.

Trump has been a vocal critic of many states expanding mail-order voting, despite using this option to cast his own vote. As he currently tracks his 2020 rival Joe Biden in the polls, Trump argued on Thursday that delays in processing postal votes could undermine the legitimacy of the May 3 election. ‘November and suggested delaying it, although the power to set the election date lies in Congress. There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud related to postal voting.

In a statement to CNN on Thursday, the USPS acknowledged some “temporary service impacts”

; from recent changes but disputed concerns that its cost-cutting and efficiency measures implemented by DeJoy will interfere with the timely delivery of postal votes.

“However, to be clear, and notwithstanding any assertion to the contrary, we do not slow down the Electoral Mail or any other mail. Instead, we continue to run a robust and proven process to ensure the proper treatment of all Electoral Mail consistent with our standards, “USPS spokesman David Partenheimer said.

The new policies include hours spent within the U.S. Postal Service, according to a memo obtained by CNN showing speaking points given to USPS administrators across the country in -10 July.

According to the memorandum, overtime, including late trips and overtime trips by USPS workers, is no longer authorized or accepted. This is explained as a cost-cutting measure that could save the USPS struggling financially about $ 200 million.

“One aspect of these changes that can be difficult for employees is that, temporarily – we can see mail being left behind or mail on the floor of the workroom or docks … which is not typical,” reads the -memo.

The memoranda state that any mail left behind will be reported with the “root causes” of the delay addressed the next day, with the intention that the volume of delayed mail does not decrease over time, but the reality of that remains clear as the changes are new.

The Washington Post reported that mailboxes ready for delivery have been left at post offices due to scheduling and routing changes, and letter carriers are choosing more mail themselves, adding delivery time. The Rep. American Andy Kim of New Jersey last week wrote to DeJoy and said his constituents have been experiencing delivery delays for more than three days.
DeJoy said in a statement on Monday that the Postal Service is in a “financially unsustainable position” and that the agency needs to “take a fresh look at our operations and make the necessary adjustments” to operate efficiently.

Partenheimer said in the statement that any “such impacts will be monitored and temporary because the root causes of each issue will be addressed as necessary and corrected accordingly.”

He went on to say that DeJoy cannot see Trump’s influence and that the “concept that the Postmaster General makes decisions about the Postal Service in the direction of the President is completely out of place and out of base. ”

The USPS financial struggles are not new, but the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the problem and severely cut off agency employees. Former Postmaster General Megan Brennan had warned the agency that it would run out of money by September if no financial aid is given.
On Wednesday, the Treasury Department announced it had reached an agreement with the USPS on “terms and conditions” for a $ 10 billion loan – the department’s funding and President Donald’s Trump was blocked until the USPS made reforms.

“While the USPS is able to finance its operating costs without additional lending at this time, we are pleased to have reached agreement on the material terms and conditions of lending, should the need arise, “said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement.

The union’s president, Mark Dimondstein, had previously told CNN that the receipt of emergency funds requested by the USPS is crucial for postal workers to continue to do their jobs, including by ensuring that voting with the mail will be handled properly.

“If funding doesn’t go through, everything we do, including postal voting will be much harder,” Dimondstein told CNN.

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


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