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2020 Elections: USPS Officials Alert on New Policies That May Affect Voting Mail, Washington Post Says

Citing a number of postal workers and union leaders, the post office said parts of the country were experiencing at least a two-day delay in receiving mail, including express mail, as a result of new U.S. Postal Service rules.

The current backlog is getting worse until workers fear they will not be able to find all the ballots in time to be processed, the paper said.

The new procedures for the USPS were outlined in a report earlier this month and fall under the leadership of General Mail, Louis DeJ, a longtime supporter and recruiter of Donald Trump, who took office in June.

Trump has been a vocal critic of the expanding vote of several countries, although he uses this option to vote. While he is currently following his rival Joe Biden in the ballot box in 2020, Trump said Thursday that delaying the processing of postal votes will undermine the legitimacy of the Nov. 3 election, and offered to postpone it, although the power to determine The date of the election lies with Congress. There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud involving postal voting.

In a statement to CNN on Thursday, the USPS acknowledged some “temporary effects on services”

; from recent changes, but disputed concerns that cost-cutting and cost-cutting measures introduced by DeJoy would prevent the timely transmission of votes for mailing.

“To be clear, however, and despite any allegations to the contrary, we are not delaying the Electoral Mail or other mail. Instead, we continue to use a reliable and proven process to ensure that all Electoral Mail is handled properly in accordance with our standards, “said USPS spokesman David Partenheimer.

The new policies include cutting hours at the U.S. Postal Service, according to a note received from CNN that shows talk points given to USPS managers across the country on July 10.

According to the note, overtime work, including delayed travel and additional travel by USPS staff, is no longer permitted or accepted. This is explained as a cost-cutting measure that could save the financially troubled USPS about $ 200 million.

“One of the aspects of these changes that can be difficult for employees is that temporarily – we can see mail left over, or mail on the floor of the study or docks … which is not typical,” he said. says in the report.

The memorandum states that any mail left after will be reported with the “root causes” of delays addressed the next day, with the intention of reducing the volume of delayed mail over time, but the reality of this remains unclear as the changes are new.

The Washington Post reported that mailboxes that were otherwise ready for delivery were left at post offices due to schedules and route changes, and letter carriers themselves sorted more mail, increasing delivery time. US Ambassador Andy Kim of New Jersey wrote to DeJoy last week, saying his constituents had been delaying deliveries for more than three days.
DeJoy said in a statement Monday that the post office was in a “financially precarious position” and that the agency needed to “re-examine our operations and make the necessary adjustments” to work effectively.

Partenheimer said in a statement that “any such impact will be monitored temporarily, as the root causes of any problems will be addressed as needed and corrected as appropriate.”

He went on to say that DeJoy was not perceived to be Trump’s influence and that “the notion that the postmaster general makes decisions about the post office on the instructions of the president is completely wrong and unfounded.”

The USPS’s financial struggles are nothing new, but the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the problem and taken its toll on the agency’s staff. Former Postal Service General Megan Brennan has warned that the agency will run out of money by September if no financial assistance is provided.
On Wednesday, the Treasury announced that it had reached an agreement with the USPS on “terms” for $ 10 billion in loans – funding for the agency and President Donald Trump were blocked unless the USPS made reforms.

“Although the USPS is currently able to finance its operating costs without additional loans, we are pleased to have reached an agreement on the essential terms of the loan, should the need arise,” Finance Minister Stephen Mnuchin said in a statement. ,,

Union President Mark Dimondstein told CNN earlier that obtaining the emergency funding requested by the USPS was crucial for postal workers to continue doing their job, including ensuring that ballot voting by mail was handled properly.

“If funding doesn’t happen, everything we do, including voting by mail, will be a lot harder,” Dimondstein told CNN.

Mary Kay Malone, Eli Kaufman and Gregory Wallace of CNN contributed to this report.

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