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Home / Business / Elections by 2020: USPS staff raise concerns about new policies that could affect mail when voting, Washington Post reports

Elections by 2020: USPS staff raise concerns about new policies that could affect mail when voting, Washington Post reports



Referring to several postal workers and union leaders, the Post said that in some parts of the country there was at least a two-day delay in receiving mail, including for express mail, due to the new policy of the US Postal Service.

The current backlog is exacerbated by the fact that workers fear that they will not be able to find all the ballots in time for voters to process them, the newspaper said.

The new procedures for the USPS were outlined in a report earlier this month and led by Postal General Louis DeJ, a longtime supporter and fundraiser of Donald Trump, who took office in June.

Trump has been a vocal critic of expanding postal voting by several states, despite the fact that he used this option. He is currently tracking his rival Joe Biden at polling stations in 2020. Trump said Thursday that a delay in processing votes sent by mail would undermine the legitimacy of the Nov. 3 election, and offered to postpone it, although the power to set an election date lies with Congress . There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud involving postal voting.

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

; from recent changes, but denied concern that its cost-cutting and efficiency measures imposed by DeJoy would impede the timely delivery of votes by mail.

“However, to be clear, and despite any allegations to the contrary, we do not delay election mail or any other mail. Instead, we continue to use a reliable and proven process to ensure that all election mail that meets our standards is properly handled. , “This was stated by USPS spokesman David Partenheimer.

The new rules include a reduction in hours at the U.S. Postal Service, according to a report received by CNN showing points of conversation provided to USPS executives across the country on July 10.

According to the report, overtime, including late travel and additional travel by USPS staff, is no longer allowed or accepted. This is due to a cost-cutting measure that could save the financially struggling US about $ 200 million.

“One aspect of these changes that can be difficult for employees is that it’s temporary – we may see mail left behind, or mail on the floor of the study or docks … which is not typical,” the statement said. .

The report states that any remaining mail will be notified of the “root causes” of delays addressed the next day, with the intention that the amount of mail delays will decrease over time, but the reality remains unclear as the changes are new.

The Washington Post reported that otherwise ready-to-deliver mail bins were left at post offices due to scheduling and route changes, and letter carriers themselves sorted more mail, increasing delivery time. US Ambassador Andy Kim of New Jersey wrote to DJ last week, saying his participants were experiencing a delivery delay of more than three days.
Dejoy said in a statement Monday that the Postal Service is in a “financially fragile position” and that the agency needs to “take a fresh look at our operations and make the necessary adjustments” to work effectively.

Partenheimer said that any “such impact will be controlled and temporary, as the root causes of any issues will be addressed as needed and remedied as necessary.”

He went on to say that DeJoy was not perceived under Trump’s influence and that “the notion that the General Post makes decisions about the postal service on the instructions of the president is completely wrong and unfounded.”

The USPS financial struggle is not new, but the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the problem and taken its toll on the agency’s staff. Former Post General Megan Brennan has warned that the agency will lose money by September if financial aid is not provided.
On Wednesday, the Treasury announced that it had reached an agreement with the USPS on $ 10 billion in “terms” in the form of 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 agree on the material terms of the loan if the need arises,” Finance Minister Stephen Mnuchin said in a statement.

Union president Mark Dimondstein told CNN earlier that obtaining the emergency funding required by the USPS is extremely important for postal workers to continue their work, including ensuring the proper handling of postal ballots.

“If funding doesn’t come in, everything we do, including voting by mail, will be a lot harder,” Dimondstein told CNN.

Mary Kay Malloni, Ellie Kaufman and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.


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