Column: We should be concerned about USPS right now

Destiny Blanchard

If you’ve sent a letter or a package to a friend in the past few months you may have noticed that it’s taken a lot longer than usual to get to them, and there’s a reason for that. For years the U.S. Postal service has been losing money as many things are shipped by companies such as Amazon, FedEx, and UPS. But in the past few months, several factors have led to a national slowdown of mail.

The USPS has become slower ever since Louis DeJoy was appointed the new Postmaster General in June. Louis DeJoy is known to be a huge donor to President Trump, and there are many claims that Trump wanted him as general to make the USPS more profitable to compete with other companies. Unfortunately as a result Louis DeJoy cut overtime for postal workers, as well as late delivery trips and other expenses that ensure that our mail arrives on time.

This national slowdown of mail is concerning because of two things: the coronavirus pandemic and the November election. Because of the pandemic, many Americans are planning to vote by mail to avoid large crowds. Unfortunately, the Trump administration has been doing things to sabotage the USPS so that they won’t be equipped to handle the surge of mail-in voting.

The Postal Service needs $10 billion from Congress to keep up with the operation but it doesn’t look like there will approval for that funding. The USPS has even put out a warning that some ballots cast by mail may not arrive in time to be counted for the election.

It seems like Trump’s sabotaging of the Postal Service is because it could benefit him in the election. Over the past few weeks, he’s been pushing the claim that mail-in voting will lead to massive voter fraud, even though there’s no evidence of that claim. Much of the country has voted by mail in the past with absentee ballots (including President Trump).

Right now we should all be concerned about this issue. Trump’s supporters believe what he says about mail-in voting, making them more likely to go vote in person.  Other citizens who are concerned about the pandemic will choose their health over their right to vote and will stay home and send out their ballots. But if our postal service doesn’t get the funds they need there’s a possibility that the votes we cast won’t be represented in the polls.

 

Destiny Blanchard is a junior management major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]