WASHINGTON — Recent changes to the U.S. Postal Service will be temporarily halted as the postmaster general works “to avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail,” according to a statement from USPS.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said, “The United States Postal Service will play a critical role this year in delivering election mail for millions of voters across the country. There has been a lot of discussion recently about whether the Postal Service is ready, willing and able to meet this challenge.”
DeJoy said that retail hours at post offices will not change, mail processing equipment and blue collection boxes will remain where they are, no mail processing facilities will be closed and overtime has and will continue to be approved as needed.
This announcement comes amid concerns that changes were being made in an effort to slow down mail services at a time when more people may be opting to vote by mail due to the ongoing pandemic.
On Sunday, protesters gathered at DeJoy’s home in Greensboro, North Carolina, to voice their disapproval of the recent changes.
“I came to the Postal Service to make changes to secure the success of this organization and its long-term sustainability,” DeJoy said. “I believe significant reforms are essential to that objective, and work toward those reforms will commence after the election. In the meantime, there are some longstanding operational initiatives — efforts that predate my arrival at the Postal Service — that have been raised as areas of concern as the nation prepares to hold an election in the midst of a devastating pandemic. To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded.”
The postmaster general assured the American public that the USPS is ready to handle any volume of election mail this fall.
DeJoy also announced that the current leadership taskforce on election mail will expand to improve partnerships with states and local election officials.
“Because of the unprecedented demands of the 2020 election, this task force will help ensure that election officials and voters are well informed and fully supported by the Postal Service,” DeJoy said.
Beginning on Oct. 1, the USPS will engage standby resources in all areas, including transportation, to be ready for any unforeseen demand.
“I am grateful for the commitment and dedication of all the men and women of the Postal Service, and the trust they earn from the American public every day, especially as we continue to contend with the impacts of COVID-19,” DeJoy said. “As we move forward, they will have the full support of our organization throughout the election.”