Reports have emerged of delays at the U.S. Postal Service, and those developments could have major impacts on upcoming elections, since the usage of mail-in voting has increased amid nationwide concerns about gathering in person at places like polling stations due to the Coronavirus. Now, House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) has requested testimony from the current Postmaster General about the issue. She has requested that the top Postal Service official, Louis DeJoy, appear at a hearing on September 17 in order to “examine operation changes to the U.S. Postal Service.”
‘The Committee on Oversight and Reform requests your testimony at a hearing to examine recent changes to U.S. Postal Service (USPS) operations and standards and the need for on-time mail delivery during the ongoing pandemic and upcoming election, which as you know may be held largely by mail-in ballot.’
Some of the reporting surrounding delays at the Postal Service includes the revelation of an internal document insisting that “the mail will not go out” if staffing shortages leave postal facilities unable to keep up with the level of mail passing through the system. The Postal Service responded to concern by stating that the particular document in question was not official, but, like other organizations across the country, the agency has struggled amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. In a May 13 statement, the National Association of Letter Carriers revealed that at the time, about 5,000 Postal Service employees were under quarantine because of issues related to the Coronavirus. At the time, they also revealed that more than 12,000 Postal Service employees had previously been under quarantine at some point during the pandemic but had since been able to return to work.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly floated conspiracy theories about the supposed potential of widespread fraud accompanying the widespread usage of mail-in voting. There’s no evidence for his claims, but he seems to be using them as an excuse to ignore these actual issues with the election, like apparent delays in the Postal Service’s operations.