New Postmaster Hasn't Yet Met Election Officials About Mail-In Ballot Concerns
Election officials have requested clarification from the U.S. Postal Service as to how the recent cost-cutting measures taken by the agency will affect the upcoming election, according to NPR.
- A bipartisan group of secretaries of state have requested a meeting with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, but the meeting is yet to be scheduled.
- New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver told NPR:
"Unfortunately, [we] still haven't had a direct conversation with the U.S. postmaster. Hopefully, we will soon."
- In a letter, the secretaries wrote that they "view the USPS as a vital partner in administering a safe, successful election and would like to learn more about any planned changes around USPS service due to COVID-19, preparations for increased election-related mail, USPS staffing levels and processing times, and other pertinent issues."
- In response to NPR regarding the meeting request, the Postal Service wrote in an email that it "appreciates its longstanding relationship with the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS). We have been in touch with NASS and are working to set up a meeting between our Election Mail stakeholders as well as theirs. We continue to work with NASS, all Secretaries of State and Boards of Election and look forward to a successful general election in November."
- DeJoy has generated considerable concern since his appointment by making sweeping cost-cutting changes in the Postal Service. In his first public statement last week, he claimed that the agency has "ample capacity to deliver all election mail securely and on time."
- However, President Trump has countered that claim, saying that the Postal Service can’t handle the influx in election mail without a significant increase in funding. He said in a Fox News interview:
"They need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots.”
- With the number of issues present in this upcoming election, it makes sense why the secretaries of state would seek to meet with DeJoy, says David Becker, who runs the nonprofit Center for Election Innovation and Research. He stated:
"It's entirely reasonable that a bipartisan group of election officials would want more information about whether USPS can meet its obligations to serve American voters, particularly only 81 days out from Election Day. The fact that the postmaster general is unresponsive to their concerns is unusual, and troubling."