The League of Women Voters, committed to the right of all citizens to vote, stands in favor of mail-in balloting and supports funding levels for the United States Postal Service (USPS) in the U.S. House HEROES Act and Delivering for America Act.
The U.S. Postal Service plays a critical role to the success of the November General Election occurring in the midst of a pandemic.
Delivering ballots is an essential function of USPS. The post office processes hundreds of millions of absentee ballots from uniformed service members dating back to the Civil War and for U.S. citizens living abroad. They also support Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington with their mail-in elections.
Today, USPS is the subject of partisan attacks designed to weaken its role and core functions. Under the leadership of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, the agency has undergone operational changes that have slowed down and adversely affected mail delivery for Americans who receive and mail-in their ballots.
Not every voter will vote by mail, but for those who do, there must be confidence and trust that their ballot will be received on time. In the 2018 general election, about 25 percent of ballots were cast by mail. Undermining the postal service disenfranchises citizens.
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Delivering for America Act which invests $25 billion in USPS, establishes requirements for processing election mail, and prevents additional changes to services before the election.
It is now up to the U.S. Senate to act. Contact Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders. Tell them why the U.S. Postal Service cannot afford to make changes that threaten service reliability and transparency at this pivotal time!
Sue Racanelli, of East Montpelier, is president of the League of Women Voters of Vermont.