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Internal U.S. Postal Service documents show that the agency plans to remove roughly 15 percent of mail-sorting machines across the country, which means that 502 machines will be put out of service, according to Vice.

  • One of the documents shows that these plans were in the works prior to the appointment of the new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. The agency is pushing the narrative that it is simply “mov[ing] equipment around its network” to optimize processing. However, documentation viewed by Vice “clearly calls the initiative an ‘equipment reduction’” and “makes no mention of the machines being moved to other facilities.”
  • Additionally, multiple sources within the USPS report that they have personally witnessed the machines worth millions of dollars being dismantled and thrown in the dumpster.
  • More removals are being planned for the months ahead, and a document sent to union officials in June confirms that the machine removal timeline has been extended into the first quarter of 2021.
  • The decision to remove mail-sorting machines has prompted concerns that it will affect mail processing ahead of the upcoming election, which is going to be heavily dependent on mail-in ballots as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Forty-seven U.S. senators have already written a letter to DeJoy asking him “not to take any action that makes it harder and more expensive for Americans to vote.”
  • The concerns are also based in the fear that President Trump, a vocal critic of mail-in voting, is working to undermine the postal service in order to interfere with the results of the upcoming election. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden (D), a signatory of the letter, said:

“Donald Trump made clear that he is dismantling the Postal Service so he can steal the election by making it harder to vote by mail. Removing 20 percent of the Postal Service’s sorting and processing equipment looks like another part of his plan to bulldoze a vital American institution just to cling to power.”

Read the full report.