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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/24/20

"The Damage Has Been Done": Historian Says Trump's Postmaster Has Undermined Faith in 2020 Election

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The battle over the future of the United States Postal Service is intensifying, with a record number of mail-in ballots expected to be cast in the 2020 presidential election, and Democrats and Republicans locked in a fight over the future of the agency. Historian Philip Rubio, who teaches at North Carolina A&T State University and worked as a mail carrier for two decades before that, says decades of political interference have caused a "manufactured crisis" at the U.S. Postal Service. "The damage has been done," Rubio says of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's changes. "I think he's discouraged a lot of voters who were hoping to vote by mail to vote safely and securely because of the pandemic."

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: The battle over the future of the U.S. Postal Service is intensifying. For weeks, Democrats have accused the Trump administration and the new postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, of sabotaging the Postal Service in the lead-up to the election, when a record number of mail-in ballots are expected to be cast.

On Saturday, the Democrat-led House approved a bill to give the Postal Service $25 billion and to stop DeJoy from making more changes to the Postal Service, which have already led to long delays in processing and delivering mail. This is Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB: Let it be clear: This administration is waging an authoritarian campaign to sabotage this election by manipulating the Postal Service to suppress our votes. And they are threatening the livelihood of our postal workers, our seniors, our veterans and so many more in the process. This is not a conspiracy theory; this is fascism. We will not stand for this, now or ever.

AMY GOODMAN: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is refusing to take up the House bill. DeJoy, who is a major donor to Trump, is testifying before the House Oversight Committee today.

Saturday's vote came on the same day protests were held at over 800 post offices across the country to condemn the actions of DeJoy, who became postmaster general in June and still holds investments worth up to $75 million in assets in competitors to the U.S. post office or contractors with it.

During a Senate hearing Friday, DeJoy claimed the cost-cutting measures he's implemented have nothing to do with the election, and said the Postal Service is, quote, "fully capable" of delivering mail-in ballots on time. Senator Gary Peters of Michigan questioned DeJoy about his refusal to restore recently disconnected mail sorting machines.

SEN. GARY PETERS: Will you be bringing back any mail sorting machines that have been removed since you've become postmaster general? Will any of those come back?

POSTMASTER GENERAL LOUIS DEJOY: There's no intention to do that. They're not needed, sir.

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