‘This Is a Five-Alarm Fire’: With 2020 Election at Stake, Call Goes Up for Mass Mobilization to Save Postal Service

‘This Is a Five-Alarm Fire’: With 2020 Election at Stake, Call Goes Up for Mass Mobilization to Save Postal Service

August 8, 2020 Off By administrator

In the wake of what was dubbed a “Friday Night Massacre” at the U.S. Postal Service—compounded by news that first-class postage rates, as opposed to cheaper bulk rates, would be charged for processing mail-in ballots in November—calls overnight and into Saturday have gone out for people across the U.S. to rise up in a coordinated fashion to end what many observers warn is a blatant effort by the Trump administration and the GOP to sabotage the federal mail delivery service ahead of this year’s elections.

While Republicans in the Senate and the White House negotiating team have both refused to accept Democratic demands to include massive funding for election protections in the next round of Covid-19 relief as a way to have safe and accessible voting for all amid the pandemic, the latest news about what Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a longtime GOP donor and Trump supporter, has been doing since appointed earlier this summer is prompting outrage, accountability, and calls for immediate action.

“This is how they destroy our democracy,” warned progressive activist Ady Barkan while pointing to a report by The American Prospect‘s David Dayen which noted the looming postage hike on mail-in absentee ballots.

According to Dayen:

The Postal Service has informed states that they’ll need to pay first-class 55-cent postage to mail ballots to voters, rather than the normal 20-cent bulk rate. That nearly triples the per-ballot cost at a time when tens of millions more will be delivered. The rate change would have to go through the Postal Regulatory Commission and, undoubtedly, litigation. But the time frame for that is incredibly short, as ballots go out very soon.

A side benefit of this money grab is that states and cities may decide they don’t have the money to mail absentee ballots, and will make them harder to get. Which is exactly the worst-case scenario everyone fears.

The American Postal Workers Union (APWU), which represents over 220,000 mail carriers and retirees, on Saturday said it was necessary for all constituents worried about the attacks on the USPS or the integrity of mail-in voting this fall to immediately contact their representatives in the U.S. Senate:

Other outside defenders of the Postal Service said that while agitating members of Congress was vital, the scale of the threat calls for action beyond that.