The United States Postal Service (or USPS) has undergone many changes in
the last few months that have sparked debate and frustration across political parties, as well as with the general public. The Coronavirus Pandemic has also not been helpful in keeping the postal service alive.
Louis DeJoy, who is a major donor to the Republican Party and an ally to President Trump, was appointed Postmaster General in May of this year. This was controversial for multiple reasons, one being the fact that DeJoy has large financial interest in many of the Postal Service’s private competitors.
DeJoy has implemented numerous changes since taking over that affect the general public, including reduced hours of operation and the removal of many of their letter collection boxes. Shipping time has also increased, causing important mail such as medications, paychecks and bills to be late or to never arrive.
Because a variety of USPS’s services are being reduced or eliminated completely, many people are panicking.
“If [USPS] is abolished or even defunded, it would hurt a lot of people. FedEx and UPS rely on the USPS to deliver packages to more rural areas. Without the postal service, we would most likely have to pay to get mail, which would really affect the lower class,” said Em Bolam (‘22).
The post office is a service available to small, rural towns where the nearest UPS or FedEx locations are multiple miles away. The post office has kept their word since they started: to always deliver to someone, no matter how rural the location.
The Washington Post says, the Republican Party has been trying to privatize
the post office for decades, which would cause it to no longer be a union-operated business, taking away benefits from its workers and causing its consumers to have to pay significantly more to send and receive mail.
“The USPS is a service that is provided to everyone, and it should stay that way,” said Emmett Kelly (‘22).
President Trump has been in the process of trying to defund or fully eliminate the postal service in efforts to make the United States more money. Trump also believes mail-in voting could be fraudulent and harmful to his re-election efforts.
“Having access to resources like the post office shouldn’t be a political debate.” said Kelly.
“Everyone should have equal access to that resource, no matter what their views are.”
Since being appointed to the position of Postmaster General, DeJoy’s
administration has issued a warning that mail-in ballots will no longer automatically be sent as priority mail. Many believe that this is due to his close ties with the Trump Administration.
Not only are mail-in ballots being affected by these changes, but DeJoy and his administration also removed high-speed letter sorters, which help process absentee ballots. Because of these statistics alone, college students who wish to vote in the election this November will most likely have to change their addresses to their school address to vote from school, or go home to vote.
“My polling station is two and a half hours from Alma and I can’t drive, so [voting] would be very inaccessible [without mail-in voting],” said Bolam.
In addition to college students, those who are elderly, immunocompromised or without a method of transportation would also be ostracized if mail-in ballots go obsolete due to the newest administration. Many people still don’t feel safe enough to leave their houses, due to the Coronavirus Pandemic
still infecting hundreds of people in our country a day.
In a recent update, DeJoy was threatened with a subpoena by Democratic Representative and Chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee, Carolyn B. Maloney. This was for documents she said DeJoy withheld from
Congress that related to communications with the Trump Presidential Campaign as well as mail delays. If the administration does not open up soon about what has been happening behind the scenes, Maloney is prepared to go through with the subpoena.
With things regarding the United States Postal Service constantly changing, updates relating to the status of DeJoy’s subpoena and the postal service itself are inevitable.