The Latest in the Battle for the Post Office

The battle for the Post Office is one we must win.

For the last month, we’ve been inundated with eyewitness stories and photographs and news about how the Trump administration is messing with the U.S. Postal Service.

Back in July, the Washington Post reported on the major mail delays that were happening all over the country. People weren’t getting their mail or their prescriptions, nor were the checks they were sending to pay their bills arriving on time.

Meanwhile, Trump keeps lying about mail-in voting on Twitter, in an obvious attempt to discredit the upcoming election. Sadly, if hilariously, he started to tweet that absentee ballots are fine (because that’s how he votes in Florida) but that mail in ballots are bad. They are, of course, the same thing.

Trump’s campaign has even sued Pennsylvania claiming that their use of drop boxes in the primary was unconstitutional and claims that postal voting is rife with fraud. (Again, to be clear, it is not.) The judge in that case ordered the campaign to produce evidence of widespread fraud by this past Friday. The campaign has turned in nothing.

The chorus of voices raising alarm over the situation at the Postal Service has been growing louder and louder. The new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy (who assumed his position in May) has been under a lot of scrutiny as he has been making sweeping policy changes (like banning overtime) and reassigning 23 senior executives at the Postal Service in a way that’s alarmed experts.

Just yesterday, a new story came out detailing just how closely tied most of the members of the Postal Service’s board of governors are with Trump and the Republican party. Their chairman, Robert Duncan, for example, is really close with Mitch McConnell.

This past Sunday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi made the decision to call an emergency hearing with both Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Chairman Robert Duncan in front of the House Oversight Committee. It’ll take place this upcoming Monday, August 24. At least one Congresswoman is ready:

Clearly embattled, DeJoy announced yesterday that he would be “halting the operational changes” until after the November election. Perhaps having 20 state attorney generals sue the Postal Service gave him some pause. They are arguing “that the Postal Service acted illegally by implementing changes without the Postal Regulatory Commission’s approval and is impeding on state efforts to conduct ‘free and fair elections.'”

What can we do

First and foremost, I want to reiterate how important it is for all of us to get our plans for voting in place NOW. In most states, you can request your absentee ballot already. So request it. This is the year, we need to change our language around voting. Instead of saying the deadline for registering to vote is X, or the deadline to request your ballot is Y, or the deadline to turn in your ballot is Z, we must start talking instead about how EARLY we can do these things. In your state, how early can you register? How early can you request your ballot? How early can you vote.

Secondly, it’s important for people to realize just how well set up the Postal Service is to deliver tens of millions of ballots around the election. As one postal executive said, the election is “no Christmas.” The example I heard was that even if all 150 million registered voters voted by mail, you still aren’t anywhere near the 3 billion pieces of mail the Postal Service handles the week of Christmas. That’s why the restrictions DeJoy put in place were so damaging.

Finally, there are several things you can do. Put the pressure on DeJoy by calling for his resignation. 5 Calls has a great script you can use HERE. Indivisible Ventura has a list of actions you can take HERE which include calls to make to your Rep in Congress and writing to the Postal Service Board of Governors.

As always, thank you for taking action. In an election year while we are dealing with a pandemic, we just cannot lose the Post Office.

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