By Sarah Brill, Science and Technology Editor
Over the past few weeks, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has been in the headlines of many news sources over the controversial change to the postal system. The change had been initiated by President Trump and would cause the Postal System to slow down delivery times by upwards of a week. With the election around the corner, and vote-by-mail being a popular choice due to COVID-19, it is safe to say that this could drastically affect the amount of ballots accounted for. For example, say I mail in my ballot on November 1 — with this change to the postal system, my vote would not be counted resulting from the fact that my ballot would not be received in time.
This was all “talk” until the President appointed “Louis DeJoy – a major donor to President Donald Trump’s campaign with large financial interests in the Postal Service’s private competitors – [to become] postmaster general … ” Having DeJoy sitting in that position would grant President Trump the opportunity to use DeJoy as a pawn in his manipulation tactic. And that is exactly what happened. The initial phases of Trump’s plan had begun and “[d]emocratic leaders said they wanted explanations for the ‘sweeping and dangerous operational changes at the Postal Service that are slowing the mail and jeopardizing the integrity of the election.’”
This hindrance in the passage of mail is a definite suspicion and raised a lot of eyes on the house floor as well as throughout the entire country. USA Today reported that “[o]n Monday, Reps. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and Ted Lieu, D-Calif., urged FBI Director Christopher Wray to investigate whether DeJoy’s acts were illegal in light of the ‘overwhelming evidence’ that he hindered the passage of mail.”
Needless to say, the hindence of mail is an abuse of power and an attempt to sabotage the election.
So why is the President going through with this? There is no evidence to suggest that vote by mail leads to voter fraud — therefore it’s clear that that isn’t why he’s doing this. The next argument, preceding this unfounded claim, was that the postal system does not have the money to take and deliver all the millions of ballots. It is ironic how the president is bringing lack-of-fund as an argument when, in 2019, the “USPS reported loss of nearly $9 billion.” It seems that the President only cares about the lives of postal workers when it directly affects him and his success. And even then he doesn’t fully care about them. He has admitted that the USPS isn’t getting enough funding as is, and yet President Trump refuses to sign in a new bill allowing more relief money to go to the postal service.
If we were to make a comparison between the postal service and another government-funded organization, let us choose the law enforcement system. Law enforcement, in 2017, received over $115 billion in funding from local and state governments. The postal service, on the other hand, lost $3.8 billion dollars and was required to lay-off workers in the year 2018. So in light of this all, American ballots should be accounted for, and there is no reason why the USPS should slow down their services, and no reason why a support bill, sending funds to USPS, should be declined.
One thing that has not been talked about enough is how mail in general will be affected. It seems to have not crossed people’s minds that slowing the postal service will also slow the delivery of necessary medication and medical equipment. While most people get one-time medicines such as Tamiflu at the pharmacy, a great deal of people, including those with diabetes, cancer, or other life-threatening or chronic conditions, get theirs delivered by mail. If the postal system were to slow down, that could put millions at risk due to a delay in delivery of medication.
The decision to slow down the postal service during an election year is sabotage and unconstitutional. Not only is it sabotage towards the election, but it could also prove to be detrimental to the health of people who rely on medications being mailed in. The decision to tamper with the USPS is wrong, and it should be stopped immediately.