Post by suzeeq Post by RichA Post by trotsky
That's because of Trump's puppet running it you stupid motherfucker.
Yeah, sure. He takes away some mailboxes (who uses them anyway?) and
all Hell breaks loose in short-order? These problems are a LONG time
in the making. PRIVATIZATION is the only thing that will help.
He's also got rid of overtime, so people aren't sorting the mail (or
running the sorting machines) for as long, whick slows it down. He's
also proposed shutting down some of the sort centers.
That's one of the problems.
The following is me paraphrasing a retired USPS worker paraphrasing a
colleague who still works with the USPS. I'm not supposed to use names,
so I'm sure that means that it will be dismissed out of hand by some,
and for once, I can understand that, but I swear by my guy, and he
swears by his.
To preface, given that the number of poll workers has declined (most are
over 60, and many do not want to risk exposure to the virus this year),
and given that the desire to vote by mail is likely to increase during a
pandemic, any slowing of the mail service is a cause for concern, and
yes, even for suspicion. Now, the amount of publicity given to
individual problems may not be commensurate with the threat each problem
poses. The problems in order of importance:
1) Elimination of some class-based mail priority. When time and
resources were limited, express mail, priority package mail, and
first-class letter mail used to be given priority over first-class
package mail, third-class bulk mail, retail ground mail, and media mail
packages. Now nothing below priority package rate gets priority.
Voting ballots, sent out via first-class letter mail, used to be given
the highest priority. Now if there's too much mail to sort in one day,
ballots could be held back along with the third-class advertising
flyers. Even if your ballot is delayed by only one day more than usual,
if your ballot misses your state's deadline, that's just tough.
2) The Postmaster General is talking about eliminating the non-profit
postage rate for states to mail ballots out to voters, meaning an
increase from 20 cents per ballot to 55 cents. When you're talking
about potentially millions of ballots, that's a discouraging measure for
already cash-strapped states, who might be forced to cut back on mail-in
ballots to save money. After all, if both conservative and liberal
nonprofits are allowed to use the cheaper rate to urge you to vote, then
why shouldn't the ballots themselves benefit from the same nonprofit
3) Cutting out routine overtime hours. Overtime hours used to be a
routine way to deal with higher fluctuations in mail volume. The
elimination of overtime hours at processing facilities is already
leading to backlogs, and the ballots haven't even gone out yet.
4) Less dramatic, but still making a difference is hand-sorting in many
places has been moved from something that carriers do in the mornings
before their routes to something they do in the evening when they're
done with their routes. A lot of state ballots fall into this category
because they're too bulky to be machine-sorted. It's only a single
extra day of delay each way for the ballots, but again, when deadlines
are rigorously enforced, it will make a difference.
5) Reductions in mail-sorting machines. It's true this has been
overblown, primarily because it's one of the more visible measures
that's been going on. Some of those machines being taken out of
commission are just routinely being serviced, replaced, or
decommissioned, so no, there's nothing qualitatively out of the ordinary
about that. But the overall number of decommissioned machines is
concerning when you're looking at a predicted rise in electoral demand
6) Finally, probably the most visible but least concerning problem is
corner mailboxes being taken out of service. This has been going on for
decades ever since the mass adoption of email. Maaaaybe more are being
taken out of service than is warranted by traffic, but there's no place
that's reporting that they no longer have a way to send mail out, so
this one's overblown.
Taken together, though, these problems are rightfully seen as
impediments to the prompt delivery of ballots to voters requesting them,
and as impediments to the on-time return of those ballots to their local
Micky speaking purely on her own now: Personally, if one can, and one's
state and local election office allow it, I'd recommend doing one of the
following (in this order):
1) Vote early in person at one's local election office. Lines are
unlikely to be long if one votes before Election Day, so one can get in
and get out in an expeditious manner, and ease the strain on both voting
by mail and on in-person voting on Election Day.
2) If that still takes too much time away from work or childcare/
eldercare, most states allow one to simply drop off one's completed
absentee ballot in person at the election office (or sometimes a
designated dropbox), which also eases the strain on the mail system.
If one is confused about the procedure for validating one's absentee
ballot, one can ask for help at the election office before handing it
3) If health, mobility, transportation, and/or childcare/eldercare
issues prevent you from going in person, vote by mail, but request your
absentee ballot as soon as you're allowed, and then send it back in as
soon as you're able. Avoid the last-minute rush. That last-minute rush
leads to delays that cause some ballots to miss their state's deadline.
Anything we can do to relieve the last-minute pressure -- for both
mail-in voting and for in-person voting on Election Day -- will help the
wheels of democracy turn more smoothly and make things safer for both
voters and poll workers.
None of this has anything to do with fraud via absentee ballots, which
is a wholly unsubstantiated allegation. It all comes down to the
practical logistics of processing a larger than usual volume of mail-in
ballots when the Postmaster General has instituted rules that increase
mail delays. The link below gives you a thorough breakdown of your
options. A full 36 states and D.C. allow you to vote by mail without
needing an excuse. An additional 9 states will allow you to use
avoidance of Covid-19 as your excuse to vote by mail this year. Only
6 states require an excuse to vote by mail yet will not allow Covid-19
to be your excuse.
Only 3 states do not allow early in-person voting of any kind.
Only 9 states do not provide a way for you to track your mail-in ballot
after it has been mailed. I admit, I would be a lot more uncomfortable
voting by mail in those states. I've previously voted by mail in
Florida, and it was reassuring to be able to go online and see that my
ballot had been both received and accepted as valid.
If you scroll down to your state, it will give you the deadlines to
register, to request a mail-in ballot, to send it back in, and it gives
you links to your state's election site for early in-person voting