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2021 election: USPS workers sound alarm about new policies that may affect mail in voting, Washington Post reports

Citing a number of postal workers and union leaders, the Post reported that elements of the nation are experiencing at the very least a two-day delay in receiving mail, together with for categorical mail, on account of the US Postal Service’s new policies.

The present backlog is worsening to the purpose the place workers worry they will not be capable of find all voters’ ballots in time for them to be processed, the newspaper reported.

The new procedures for the USPS have been laid out in a memo earlier this month and are available beneath the management of Postmaster Common Louis DeJoy, a longtime Donald Trump supporter and fundraiser, who stepped into his function in June.
Trump has been a vocal critic of a number of states’ increasing mail-in voting, regardless of utilizing that option to cast his own ballot. As he at the moment trails his 2021 rival Joe Biden in the polls, Trump claimed on Thursday that delays processing the mail-in votes would undermine the legitimacy of the November three election and prompt delaying it, although the ability to set the election date lies with Congress. There’s no evidence of widespread voter fraud related to vote by mail.

In an announcement to CNN Thursday, the USPS acknowledged some “momentary service impacts” from the current modifications however disputed issues that its value slicing and effectivity measures put in place by DeJoy will intrude with well timed supply of mail-in votes.

“To be clear nonetheless, and regardless of any assertions on the contrary, we aren’t slowing down Election Mail or another mail. As an alternative, we proceed to make use of a strong and confirmed course of to make sure correct dealing with of all Election Mail per our requirements,” USPS spokesperson David Partenheimer stated.

The new policies embrace hours being in the reduction of inside the US Postal Service, in line with the memo obtained by CNN that exhibits speaking factors given to USPS managers throughout the nation on July 10.

In accordance with the memo, additional time, together with late journeys and further journeys by USPS workers, is now not licensed or accepted. That is defined as a value slicing measure that might save the financially struggling USPS round $200 million.

“One facet of those modifications that may be tough for workers is that, quickly — we may see mail left behind or mail on the workroom flooring or docks … which isn’t typical,” reads the memo.

The memo states any mail left behind can be reported with the “root causes” of the delays addressed the subsequent day, with the intention of the quantity of delayed mail shrinking over time, however the actuality of that stays unclear because the modifications are new.

The Washington Post reported that bins of mail in any other case prepared for supply have been left in put up workplaces as a result of scheduling and route modifications, and letter carriers are sorting extra mail themselves, growing the supply time. US Rep. Andy Kim of New Jersey final week wrote to DeJoy, saying that his constituents have been experiencing supply delays for greater than three days.
DeJoy stated in a statement Monday that the Postal Service is in a “financially unsustainable place” and that the company must “take a contemporary have a look at our operations and make crucial changes” to function effectively.

Partenheimer stated in the assertion that any “such impacts can be monitored and momentary as the foundation causes of any points can be addressed as crucial and corrected as acceptable.”

He went on to say that DeJoy isn’t beholden to the affect of Trump and that the “notion that the Postmaster Common makes selections in regards to the Postal Service on the path of the President is wholly misplaced and off-base.”

The USPS’ monetary struggles should not new, however the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the problem and brought its toll on the company’s staff. Former Postmaster Common Megan Brennan had warned the company would run out of cash by September if monetary help wasn’t offered.
On Wednesday, the Treasury Division announced that it reached an settlement with USPS on the “phrases and situations” for $10 billion in the type of loans — funding the division and President Donald Trump had blocked except the USPS made reforms.

“Whereas the USPS is ready to fund its working bills with out further borrowing presently, we’re happy to have reached an settlement on the fabric phrases and situations of a mortgage, ought to the necessity come up,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated in an announcement.

The union’s president, Mark Dimondstein, had previously told CNN that receiving the emergency funding the USPS requested is essential for postal workers to proceed doing their job, together with making certain vote by mail ballots are dealt with correctly.

“If the funding would not come by, all the pieces we do, together with vote by mail can be a lot more durable,” Dimondstein instructed CNN.

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

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