This year has been out of the ordinary, to say the least, and it has been unsettling for many. One thing Americans do not need to add to their list of concerns is the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) ability to handle the mail ahead of the 2020 election.
As my colleagues on the other side of the aisle spread misinformation and fear about the post office, let’s take a look at the facts.
Plain and simple, the USPS is capable of handling the potential slight increase in mail that may result from the 2020 election. Look at it by the numbers.
In 2019, the postal service handled an average of 471 million pieces of mail every day. There are approximately 160 million registered voters in the United States. To mail out a ballot to every single voter then have them return it would be approximately 320 million pieces of mail. So, even if every single voter decided to vote by mail, the total would not exceed the volume of one typical day at USPS. Of course, we know that the numbers won’t even be this high because every voter will not be voting by mail.
Also, rest assured, the postal service has enough money to operate through the election. According to the post office itself, “the Postal Service expects that it will have sufficient liquidity to continue operating through at least August 2021.” The post office will be funded through the election and beyond.
I have also heard concerns that USPS blue mailboxes are disappearing. It’s normal practice for the USPS to remove “underused” collection boxes. The United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General found that 14,000 boxes were removed over a five year period during the Obama Administration. However, the Postmaster General has announced that “mail processing equipment and blue collection boxes will remain where they are” and will not be moved or removed through the election. The Postmaster also implemented additional measures through the election including ensuring retail hours for post offices will not change, keeping all processing facilities open, and continuing to approve overtime, as needed.
In a letter to her Democratic Caucus, Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote, “alarmingly, across the nation, we see the devastating effects of the President’s campaign to sabotage the election by manipulating the Postal Service to disenfranchise voters.” In the same letter, she went on to say, “lives, livelihoods and the life of our American Democracy are under threat from the President.”
After reviewing the facts, it is absolutely clear that this is nothing more than a fabricated crisis created by Speaker Pelosi and Democrats.
While there is no doubt that the post office is in need of reforms, there is no newfound crisis ahead of the election. Rather than advocating for the needed changes to make the Post Office solvent and more efficient, Democrats continue to push a fear campaign and ask for tens of billions of dollars in additional funding.
The President is not campaigning to sabotage the election through the post office.
In the Government Accountability Office’s 2019 High-Risk update, they found that the USPS’s overall condition is deteriorating and unsustainable and that USPS had lost $69 billion in the 11 fiscal years prior. One is left wondering, where was the urgency in years past? Why are Democrats now calling a special Saturday session of Congress to address the postal service that has been in dire financial distress for many years, if not to create a spectacle and a false sense of urgency and fear?
Even worse, this fabricated crisis comes at a time when Americans are suffering. Congress should be focused on delivering relief for small businesses, supporting Americans who have lost their jobs, helping schools and teachers as they navigate uncharted territory in the new school year, and funding vaccine research and development.
The post office will handle mail-in ballots. There is no crisis or “sabotage.” I encourage Georgians not to listen to the alarmists and instead focus on the facts.
Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter represents the First District in the U.S. House of Representatives.