VALPARAISO – Drivers issued a sign and waved in support of the U.S. Postal Service, while more than a dozen protesters waved signs on Saturday in support of the postal vote and keeping the 245-year-old government agency afloat.
John Grot was one of the first to show up at the Valparaiso post office on Saturday morning to show his support for postal services.
Grotto served in the army from 1970 to 1972, stationed in Germany, he said. Military members vote in absentia by mail.
“I sent mail from Africa, from Europe, and I can̵
Saturday morning’s reactions included “a lot of thumbs up and waves,” Grot said. I haven’t taken my finger yet.
Several drivers took down their windows and shouted “Trump 2020.”
President Donald Trump opposed the postal vote, saying it created too many opportunities for fraud. He did not provide any evidence in support of his claim.
Trump-appointed mail director Louis Dejoy is investing heavily in USPS rivals. Under his leadership, the postal service removed a number of mailboxes across the country and dismantled electronic sorting machines.
Some Americans complain that mail delivery is delayed, prescriptions and other basic mail are delayed.
Susan Swarner of the Valparaiso Democratic Committee stressed the importance of protecting the postal service during the pandemic, especially with this year’s presidential election.
In Indiana, an absentee ballot that does not arrive by noon on election day does not count, regardless of the postmark.
“We have to save our mail. It’s an iconic American system that has worked well for many years, “said Sue Anderson.
Changes are being made without science or statistics or data being offered in support, she said.
“I don’t know how you can have democracy unless you can vote,” said Terry Anderson, Sue’s husband.
“I sympathize with the reduction in post office costs in line with the reduction in mail volume after the invention of e-mail,” Lou Denkel said, but he criticized “the arrival of all this magical cost reduction” without giving reasons for the action.
“It seems to be repressing voters in a different way,” he said.
“I am very much against the privatization of basic services in this country,” said Drew Wenger.
Democrats in Valparaiso are sending a letter to registered voters to specify how to request an absentee ballot, he said.
“I guarantee you that this will be a very high election year,” Wenger said.
A record number of absentee ballots were filed in Porter County this spring, more than 15 times more than 941 voters in 2016.
Indiana is one of the few states that requires absent voters to state a reason why they cannot vote in person. This rule was repealed for the primary but not for the general elections.
Wenger said personal voting is problematic for older people because it increases the risk of exposure to COVID-19. The majority of respondents are also older.
“A lot of them cancel the last minute,” he said.
Carol McCreery and Francis Saar are voting in absentia or earlier this year because they plan to be polls. Saar has worked in opinion polls in the last 20 or more elections, she said.
“I think it’s terrible because it’s going to hamper the election, and they’re doing it on purpose, I think,” McCreery said.
“For those elderly people locked up at home, the post office is very important to us,” Saar said. “It’s fun to receive these little surprise packages in the mail.”