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Concerns Loom Over 2020 Mail-In-Election As USPS Delivery Delays Occur

A woman holds a red, white and blue sign that says, “Save Our Mail Save Our Vote,” with a stamp of an American flag in the middle.
Trevor Bexon
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People rallying outside of the United States Postal Service in Reno, Nev., on Saturday, Aug. 22, to show support for the Postal Service, including its role in delivering mail-in-ballots for the upcoming election.

The United States Postal Service recently underwent operational changes that have caused mail delays across the country, worrying voters. But, the Postmaster General said it was not his intention to suppress votes.

Earlier in the month, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced changes within the USPS to save money, including cutting employee overtime hours and eliminating some postal-sorting machines, including a few in Nevada. The shift has caused almost immediate mail delays.

This has worried voters across the county who plan to send their ballots in the mail. DeJoy told members of the House yesterday that the Postal Service is fully capable of delivering ballots securely and on-time, but he did suggest giving yourself extra time.

“I encourage all Americans who choose to vote by mail to request their ballots early and to vote early, as a common-sense best practice,” DeJoy said.

DeJoy also said he would halt the changes that are causing delays. But, Democratic senators like Nevada’s Jacky Rosen, said he isn’t being transparent.

During a hearing with members of the Senate on Friday, Rosen asked DeJoy to release an analysis of the data he used to make the changes that ended up negatively impacting mail delivery of essential services for seniors and veterans.

“This is frankly unacceptable, and I would like to see the analysis that this was based on to our offices by this Sunday. Can you commit to that, sir?” Rosen asked.

“No, ma'am,” DeJoy answered.

Rosen released a statement confirming that DeJoy did not send her the information.

Members of the House recently approved a bill to halt the changes within the Postal Service that are causing delays, but President Donald Trump vowed he would veto the bill.

Lucia Starbuck is a corps member with Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

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Lucia Starbuck is a corps member with Report for America focusing on community reporting and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Local community issues are her passion, including the affordable housing crisis, homelessness, a lack of access to healthcare, protests and challenges facing vulnerable communities in northern Nevada.
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