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Anyone who believes in the right to vote should enthusiastically embrace voting by mail. Without it, tens of millions of voters will be denied the opportunity to safely exercise their cherished right to vote.
The leader of the 200,000-member American Postal Workers Union warned Monday that President Donald Trump’s evidence-free attacks on mail-in voting, threat to delay the November election, and ongoing efforts to undermine the U.S. Postal Service are putting the nation on “a dangerous path toward dictatorship” and must be opposed.
“President Donald Trump’s raising postponement of the upcoming November presidential election has been rightly and quickly rejected by political leaders in both major parties,” APWU President Mark Dimondstein said in a statement Monday. “On behalf of the 200,000 APWU postal workers and retirees, proud public servants of many political persuasions, I join in adding our voice in that chorus.”
“During this pandemic, anyone who believes in the right to vote should enthusiastically embrace voting by mail. Without it, tens of millions of voters will be denied the opportunity to safely exercise their cherished right to vote,” Dimondstein continued. “When postal workers go to work every day, our commitment is not to politicians or political parties, it’s to the people in every community across this country who we are proud to serve in this election season and for years to come.”
Dimonstein’s statement came amid growing alarm among postal workers, lawmakers, and voting rights advocates over Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s recent policy changes that have resulted in significant mail backlogs and delays across the country—including in key battleground states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. If the backlogs continue, postal workers warn the USPS may struggle to deliver mail-in ballots on time.
As the Washington Post reported last week, “the new policies have resulted in at least a two-day delay in scattered parts of the country, even for express mail, according to multiple postal workers and union leaders.”
“Letter carriers are manually sorting more mail, adding to the delivery time,” the Post noted. “Bins of mail ready for delivery are sitting in post offices because of scheduling and route changes. And without the ability to work overtime, workers say the logjam is worsening without an end in sight.”
On Monday, House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney asked DeJoy to testify on the policy changes at a hearing scheduled for September 17—less than two months before the November elections.
In an interview with the New York Times last week, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.)—a member of the House Oversight Committee—said “we are worried about new management at the Postal Service that is carrying out Trump’s avowed opposition to voting by mail.”
“I don’t think that’s speculation,” Connolly added. “I think we are witnessing that in front of our own eyes.”
First published in Common Dreams and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.