VALPARAISO – Drivers signaled and waved in support of the U.S. Postal Service as more than a dozen protesters waved placards in support of the postal vote and keeping the 245-year-old government agency afloat.
John Grot was one of the first to show up at the Valparaiso post office on Saturday morning to show his support for the postal service.
According to him, Grot served in the army from 1970 to 1972, stationed in Germany. Members of the military handed out absentee ballots by mail.
“I sent mail from Africa, from Europe, and I don̵7;t remember anything getting lost,” he said.
Saturday morning’s reaction included “thumbs up and waves,” Grotto said. “I haven’t got a finger yet.”
Several drivers rolled down their windows and shouted, “Trump 2020.”
President Donald Trump has denied mail voting, saying it creates too many opportunities for fraud. He did not provide evidence to substantiate his claim.
General Manager Louis Dejoy, appointed by Trump, is investing heavily in USPS rivals. Under his leadership, the postal service confiscated a number of mailboxes across the country and dismantled electronic sorting machines.
Some Americans complain that mail delivery is slowed down by delaying prescriptions and other important mail.
Susan Swarner, a member of the Democratic Committee of Valparaiso, stressed the importance of protecting the postal service during a pandemic, especially during this year’s presidential election.
In Indiana, a ballot paper that does not arrive by noon on election day is not counted, regardless of the postmark.
“We need to save our post office. It’s a landmark American system that has worked for many years, “said Sue Anderson.
Changes are being made without any science, statistics or data being offered to support, she said.
“I don’t know how you can have democracy if you can’t vote,” said Terry Anderson, Sue’s husband.
“I sympathize with the reduction in post office costs in line with the reduction in mail volume since the invention of e-mail,” Lou Denkle said, but he criticized “the arrival of this magical cost reduction” without giving a reason for action.
“It seems to be a different way of suppressing voters,” he said.
“I am very much against the privatization of basic services in this country,” said Drew Wenger.
Valparaiso Democrats are sending a mailbox to registered voters for details on how to demand absentee voting, he said.
“I guarantee you that this will be a very high year of turnout,” Wenger said.
This spring, a record number of absentee ballots were handed out in Porter County, 15 times more than the 941 ballots cast in 2016.
Indiana is one of the few states that requires an absent voter to state a reason why they cannot vote in person. This rule was repealed for primary but not for general elections.
Wenger noted that personal voting is problematic for the elderly because it increases the risk of their impact on COVID-19. Most survey workers are also older.
“Many of them are canceling at the last minute,” he said.
Carol McCreery and Francis Saar are voting absent or earlier this year because they plan to be poll staff. According to her, Saar has worked at polling stations during the last 20 elections.
“I think it’s awful because it’s going to interfere with the election, and they’re doing it on purpose, in my opinion,” McCreery said.
“For the elderly, limited by home, mail is very important to us,” Saar said. “It’s kind of fun to receive these little surprise packages in the mail.”