Mail-in voting: we must protect the USPS

USPS+worker+carries+a+box+of+mail+while+wearing+a+mask

Courtesy of AP Photo

USPS worker carries a box of mail while wearing a mask

“Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Dark Of Night Shall Stay These Couriers From The Swift Completion Of Their Appointed Rounds.”

The United States Postal Service has lived by this “Postman’s Oath” since 1775. It officially became an independent agency in 1971. Long before President Trump was elected and Biden became the Democratic nominee, and certainly long before the Coronavirus pandemic occurred.

Recently, President Trump has opposed funding for the USPS and called into question the validity of mail-in voting.

“[Democrats] want three and a half-billion dollars for something that’ll turn out to be fraudulent, that’s election money basically,” Trump stated in an interview with Fox News. Even though there is little to no evidence that mail-in voting will lead to voter fraud, Trump maintains this stance.

The USPS has access to over $25 billion in cash and has more than 500,000 workers; the agency itself has stated they are more than prepared to meet the expected mail-in ballots. The funding problems that have plagued this agency for decades have primarily been attributed to the sharp decline in first-class mail in the past few decades. However, this doesn’t mean that mail-in voting isn’t feasible or shouldn’t occur in this election cycle.

In May 2020, President Trump appointed Postmaster General DeJoy, a major Republican donor. The latter removed 600 mail sorting machines, proposed raising prices, and reduced delivery days. We can not let the current presidential administration dismantle the USPS for their own political agendas. Around twenty Democratic attorneys general around the country have already begun to legally push back on DeJoy’s illegal changing of mail procedures ahead of the election.

DeJoy’s changes are a threat to democracy, and the American is faced with the potential manipulation of the 2020 election. As Bernie Sanders tweeted yesterday, “The beauty of the Postal Service is that it doesn’t matter if you’re a low-income senior in Kentucky or a wealthy CEO living on Park Avenue—you get your mail delivered 6 days a week at a low cost.”

President Trump is more concerned with suppressing voters than making sure his constituents get their social security checks, necessary packages, and more. In a global pandemic, there’s no reason someone must risk their lives in order to take part in our “democracy.” President Trump’s desire to prevent everyone from having an equal chance of voting is not surprising as he won the 2016 election with a voter turnout at a 20 year low. Voter suppression has been occurring for decades in various ways, such as limiting poll centers in low-income areas. Trump’s attack on the USPS is just a new way to attempt to maintain the status quo and prevent everyone’s voice from being heard.

This is America. Home of the free and land of the brave. We have the longest standing Constitution, a founding document that details the importance of the post office in Article 1, with the longest standing democracy in the world. Suppressing the will of the people is a distinct trait of an authoritarian government. Therefore, we must work together in urging our representatives to prevent our commonwealth from being compromised in any way, big or small.