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Home / Business / 2020 Election: USPS staff worried about new policy that could affect mail voting, Washington Post reports

2020 Election: USPS staff worried about new policy that could affect mail voting, Washington Post reports



Based on several postal workers and union leaders, the Post reported that parts of the country were delayed by at least two days, including the receipt of postal items, due to the new US Postal Service policy.

The current backlog is deteriorating to the point that workers fear they will not be able to find all the voters ’ballots in time to be recycled, the newspaper reported.

The new USPS procedures were set out in a memorandum earlier this month and are led by Louis DeJoy, a long-time supporter and fundraiser led by Donald Trump, who took office in June.

Despite taking this opportunity to vote, Trump was a vocal critic of several states expanding voting by mail. Currently watching his rival Joe Biden in polls, Trump said on Thursday that a delay in the processing of postal votes would hurt November 3rd. The legitimacy of the election, and proposed to postpone it, although Congress has the right to set an election date. . There are no data on widespread voter fraud related to postal voting.

In a statement to CNN on Thursday, the USPS acknowledged some of the “temporary effects”

; of the recent changes, but disputed concerns that the cost-cutting and efficiency measures put in place by DeJoy would hinder the timely delivery of votes by mail.

“However, for the sake of clarity, and despite claims to the contrary, we do not rush election mail or other letters. Instead, we continue to use a credible and verified process to ensure proper handling of election mail to our standards,” USPS spokesman David Partenheimer said.

According to a memorandum received by CNN showing the speaking points, filed on July 10th. For USPS executives across the country, the new policy includes a reduction in hours at the U.S. Postal Service.

According to the memorandum, overtime, including late and additional travel by USPS personnel, is no longer allowed and will not be accepted. This is explained as a cost-cutting measure that could save USPS about $ 200 million for the hard-hit.

“One aspect of these changes, which can be difficult for employees, is that we can temporarily leave letters or letters on the floor or docks of the study … which is not typical,” the report said.

The memorandum states that any mail left will be listed with the “main reasons for the delay”, which will be eliminated the next day with the intention of reducing the volume of delayed mail over time, but the reality remains unclear as the changes are new.

The Washington Post reported that due to the preparation of the schedule and rerouting, mailboxes were left in post offices, otherwise prepared for delivery, and letter carriers sort more letters themselves, which increases delivery times. U.S. spokesman Andy Kim of New Jersey wrote to DeJoy last week, saying his constituents are suspending delivery for more than three days.
DeJoy said in a statement on Monday that the postal service was in a “financially unsustainable situation” and that the agency needed to “take a fresh look at our operations and make the necessary changes” in order to operate effectively.

Partenheimer said in a statement that any “such effects will be monitored and temporary, as the root causes of all problems will be eliminated if necessary and remedied accordingly.”

He went on to say that DeJoy was not just about Trump’s influence and that “the provision that the postmaster general makes decisions on the postal service on the instructions of the president is completely inappropriate and unfounded.”

The USPS financial struggle is not news, but the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the problem and caused significant damage to agency staff. Former postmaster Megan Brennan has warned the agency will run out of money until September if no financial aid is provided.
The Treasury Department on Wednesday announced it had reached an agreement with the USPS on “terms and conditions” for $ 10 billion in loans – funding for the department and President Donald Trump was blocked if the USPS did not reform.

“While the USPS is currently able to finance its operating expenses without additional borrowing, we are pleased to have reached agreement on the material terms of the loan, if necessary,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. .

Union President Mark Dimondstein has previously told CNN that in order to receive the urgent funding required by the USPS, it is critical that postal workers be able to continue their work, as well as ensuring that postal voting is properly handled.

“If the funding isn’t implemented, everything we do, including voting by mail, 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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