Democrats raise concerns about USPS changes with election looming

Anna Callahan, Copy Editor

The Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has faced intense scrutiny since the changes he made to the US Postal Service.

The changes he intends to make will happen after the election. According to the Washington Post, “They include raising package rates, particularly when delivering the last mile on behalf of big retailers; setting higher prices for service in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico; curbing discounts for nonprofits; requiring election ballots to use first-class postage; and leasing space in Postal Service facilities to other government agencies and companies.”

DeJoy backed off of the changes he set out in August amidst a lot of criticism that this reshaping of the system could affect including the 2020 election as lots of voters will use mail in ballots during the pandemic.

DeJoy has also faced a lot of backlash from people, especially Democrats, for his connection to President Trump and his assumed bias towards the Republican party. DeJoy was a former logistics executive for the President.

DeJoy was the lead fundraiser for the Republican National Convention before he was chosen to head the USPS. New filings from the Federal Election Commission show that DeJoy, between late December 2018 and late March 2020, made four donations totaling $685,230.

These connections and donations are why people are heavily scrutinizing DeJoy’s bias towards the Republican Party. This is also the reason, according to CNN, for the “allegations that the administration is using the nation’s mail system to sway the election.” However, DeJoy denied the allegations.

People throughout the United States are now experiencing more mail delays and lost packages. The supposed reason for this being DeJoys strict changes made in August.

He took a firm stance on employee overtime and late deliveries forcing workers to leave mail behind. Common Dreams said, “[DeJoy] ordered the decommissioning and even dismantling of mail-sorting machines—more than 700 this year alone.”

The article continues, “mail delay complaints have been 50 percent higher in zip codes with populations that are more than 45 percent Black, Indigenous, or other people of color.”

With pushback from the public, at least 20 states, and four federal court rulings, DeJoy suspended the changes made in late August.

On top of all of this there has been an increase of mail being thrown in dumpsters or on the ground.

According to the New Jersey Globe, a man found about 200 to 300 pounds of mail tossed in a dumpster behind a bank. According to the man there were at least 200 ballots in this pile of mail.

A similar incident was reported by Brooklyn News 12, where another pile of mail was dumped in North Arlington. This pile of mail also included ballots for the upcoming election.