The saga of disruption and dysfunction at the U.S. Postal Service has continued at a staggering pace.
Since we wrote earlier this month, there have been more and more concerning signs that President Trump and his allies hope to hobble the agency to sow confusion over mail-in voting. Given that Trump trails his Democratic opponent by wide margins in recent polls, it’s not a stretch to imagine he’s looking for someone or something to blame for a possible loss.
But it can’t be the post office. Too many of us depend on it for essentials in our daily lives. Live-saving medication is shipped through the mail. Social security checks and other crucial government aid are brought to your post office box by a letter carrier.
The post office is a backbone organization of this country. We must have it working at full strength, and without politicized requirements that serve only to bolster the ego of the president.
Listen to what Trump told Fox Business channel on Aug. 13: "They want $25 billion — billion — for the post office. Now they need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots. Now, in the meantime, they aren't getting there. By the way, those are just two items. But if they don't get those two items, that means you can't have universal mail-in voting."
It’s a stunning admission, and one that should alarm every American. The very idea that funding for an essential service would be stopped or slowed to prevent voters from exercising their right to cast a ballot — in the middle of a pandemic no less — is appalling.
Call your representatives in congress, both the House and Senate, and demand action. Tell them that the postal service needs their support and votes. States with large rural populations like Kansas depend on the post office. Without it, those living outside metropolitan areas or suburbs will pay more or wait longer for their mail.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy will likely be testifying next week in front of a House committee. The House is also looking to vote on a bill that would halt recent changes that have slowed mail delivery.
Lawmakers should think bigger. Both the House and Senate should use their power of the purse and vote overwhelmingly to fund the postal service adequately, change ridiculous requirements that have affected its profitability, and ensure that mail-in voting can proceed smoothly.