Episode 83: USPS Creates Division for Overseeing Election Mail - But Will it Restore Confidence?

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Today’s Links
Articles:
Associated Press - New USPS election division will oversee mail-in ballots
Washington Post - DeJoy is poised to remake a resurgent USPS. Now comes the hard part.
Washington Post - Senate passes $107 billion overhaul of USPS, lauding mail agency’s role in pandemic response
U.S. Postal Service Inspector General Report - Vote by Mail and the Postal Service: A Primer
Groups Taking Action:
League of Women Voters US, ACLU, Common Cause, Voting Rights Alliance
You’re listening to the American Democracy Minute, keeping YOUR government by and for the people.

In 2020, a highly-suspect U.S. Postal Service slowdown directed by newly-appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy created doubt in the postal system’s ability to deliver mail-in ballots. The USPS just announced a permanent division to deal with election mail volume, but will it be enough to restore confidence?

Last week, the USPS announced the Election and Government Mail Services division, tasked with training “election mail strike teams” in communities and postal districts in all states and U.S. territories.

The USPS says that in 2020, it delivered 135 million pieces of outbound and inbound election mail, with 97.9% of ballots delivered from voters to election officials within three days. And 99.89% of ballots were delivered within seven days. Unofficially, there were stories of heroic postal workers who prioritized election mail at the local level, even defying management directives, to deliver on time. A July 14th release from USPS trumpets an on-time delivery of 94% for first class mail for its fiscal year fourth quarter.

Louis DeJoy, the businessman and Trump donor appointed as Postmaster General is still in place despite widespread calls for his removal. He points out in an interview with the Washington Post that his fiscal remake of the USPS has just begun. In March, Congress passed a $107 billion dollar restructuring plan, which may include the shuttering of 18 sorting facilities and shortening local post office hours.

Articles and a report by the Postal Service Inspector General’s office are at AmericanDemocracyMinute.org. For the American Democracy Minute, I’m Brian Beihl.

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