2020 election: New USPS procedures that are slowing provider may impact mail-in voting, union chief says

The American Publish Personnel Union’s president, Mark Dimondstein, advised CNN in an interview Friday that the union has gained a number of reviews from postal staff and clients above the past two months that mail supply has slowed and “degraded.” The union represents a lot more than 200,000 Postal Support staff members and retirees.

Dimondstein said it is really been “demoralizing and upsetting” to the staff who have continued to get the job done in the course of the pandemic.

He advised CNN that whilst postal staff are able of dealing with voting by mail, “naturally if the postal administration is putting in insurance policies to gradual down the mail, then that has an influence on every thing, including ballots.”

“The states run elections, not the Postal Support. But the Postal Support is here to transfer individuals ballots. And when mail will get slowed down, it results in being a concern almost everywhere,” Dimondstein stated.

The new processes for the USPS were laid out in a memo before this thirty day period and arrive beneath the management of Postmaster Normal Louis DeJoy, a longtime Donald Trump supporter and fundraiser, who stepped into his position in June.
Trump has been a vocal critic of quite a few states’ expanding mail-in voting, despite employing that choice to cast his individual ballot. As he at present trails his 2020 rival Joe Biden in the polls, Trump claimed on Thursday that delays processing the mail-in votes would undermine the legitimacy of the November 3 election and proposed delaying it, even though the electricity to established the election date lies with Congress. There is no proof of popular voter fraud associated with vote by mail.
The Washington Article reported Thursday that bins of mail otherwise ready for delivery have been left in post offices owing to the scheduling and route variations, and letter carriers are sorting a lot more mail them selves, increasing the shipping time. US Rep. Andy Kim, a New Jersey Democrat, last week wrote to DeJoy, stating that his constituents have been dealing with shipping delays for extra than 3 times.

In a statement to CNN Thursday, the USPS acknowledged some “temporary services impacts” from the latest improvements but disputed concerns that its value cutting and effectiveness steps put in location by DeJoy will interfere with well timed shipping of mail-in votes.

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“To be very clear on the other hand, and regardless of any assertions to the opposite, we are not slowing down Election Mail or any other mail. As an alternative, we continue to employ a sturdy and verified procedure to assure proper managing of all Election Mail dependable with our standards,” USPS spokesperson David Partenheimer mentioned.

The new insurance policies include several hours getting slice again within the US Postal Services, according to the memo attained by CNN that reveals speaking details given to USPS managers throughout the nation on July 10.

In accordance to the memo, time beyond regulation, such as late excursions and more trips by USPS workers, is no more time authorized or recognized. This is discussed as a value reducing evaluate that could help you save the monetarily having difficulties USPS all-around $200 million.

“One particular part of these variations that may perhaps be tough for employees is that, briefly — we may see mail left behind or mail on the workroom flooring or docks … which is not normal,” reads the memo.

The memo states any mail remaining guiding will be reported with the “root leads to” of the delays addressed the subsequent working day, with the intention of the volume of delayed mail shrinking around time, but the truth of that continues to be unclear as the adjustments are new.

DeJoy explained in a assertion Monday that the Postal Assistance is in a “financially unsustainable place” and that the agency requirements to “take a fresh new glimpse at our functions and make needed changes” to function competently.

Partenheimer stated in the assertion that any “this kind of impacts will be monitored and temporary as the root triggers of any troubles will be dealt with as required and corrected as proper.”

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In his job interview with CNN, Dimondstein also expressed worry that the mail company is getting politicized and said DeJoy’s actions as postmaster standard so significantly are “troubling.”

Partenheimer claimed that DeJoy is not beholden to the influence of Trump and that the “notion that the Postmaster Common will make conclusions regarding the Postal Service at the direction of the President is wholly misplaced and off-base.”

The USPS’ financial struggles are not new, but the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the trouble and taken its toll on the agency’s staff. Previous Postmaster Common Megan Brennan had warned the company would operate out of dollars by September if fiscal support wasn’t furnished.
On Wednesday, the Treasury Office announced that it reached an arrangement with USPS on the “phrases and problems” for $10 billion in the kind of loans — funding the section and President Donald Trump experienced blocked except the USPS manufactured reforms.

“Though the USPS is equipped to fund its functioning charges devoid of supplemental borrowing at this time, we are happy to have reached an agreement on the material phrases and conditions of a loan, need to the require occur,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reported in a assertion.

Dimondstein instructed CNN on Friday stated that the bank loan would make issues worst and pushes the USPS even further into financial debt. He reiterated his aid for Congress to suitable coronavirus unexpected emergency cash for the Postal Company.

The union president earlier told CNN that getting the crisis funding the USPS requested is very important for postal personnel to keep on doing their career, including guaranteeing vote by mail ballots are managed thoroughly.

This story and its headline have been up to date with added reporting from CNN.

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CNN’s Mary Kay Mallonee, Ellie Kaufman and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.

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