With the ongoing discourse around the United States Postal Service, LWVUS joined 50 other organizations in a letter addressing the U.S. House of Representatives urging them to vote YES on the Delivering for America Act. The Delivering for America Act prevents the Postmaster General from enacting structural changes to the Postal Service and allocated $25 billion in funding for the organization. This legislation passed the U.S. House in a bipartisan vote on Saturday, August 22.
August 21, 2020
RE: More than 50 groups urge “yes” vote on Delivering for America Act (HR 8015)
On behalf of the more than 50 below organizations, many of which are part of the Democracy Initiative and/or the Declaration for American Democracy coalitions representing tens of millions of Americans, we urge you to vote “yes” for the bipartisan Delivering for America Act (H.R.8015) when it is expected to be considered by the full House of Representatives tomorrow.
As millions of Americans continue to suffer from the coronavirus pandemic, whether they’ve been inflicted with the illness, had loved ones who’ve died, lost their jobs, or had their wages decreased, the United States Postal Service continues to play a vital role in our society, and every American benefits from a reliable and trustworthy USPS. For more than 200 years, it has helped drive our economy and kept communities connected. The USPS is also extremely popular. According to Pew Research, it is the government agency with the highest approval rating: it is viewed favorably by 91% of Democrats and 91% of Republicans.
However, recent efforts by President Trump and his new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy have threatened to undermine the USPS at a time when many Americans depend on this vital service more than ever. Tens of millions of Americans will rely on the USPS this year to vote by mail, register to vote, and receive polling information, and it is unconscionable that during a pandemic, Postmaster General DeJoy is decommissioning about ten percent of the Passbook sorting machines (671 machines nationwide), removing or “re-positioning” hundreds of mailboxes, and instructing mail carriers to leave certain mail behind. Additionally, according to the Washington Post, “postal officials advised the nation’s secretaries of state to use high-priority first-class postage, which costs 55 cents an item, on election mail rather than the third-class, or bulk, rate of 20 cents typically used.” It’s unclear what the USPS’s recent non-binding announcement of “suspending these initiatives” will mean for already-enacted changes.
No one should have to choose between protecting their health and exercising their right to vote. Vote-by-mail is a tried and tested secure solution that can ensure people still have access to make their voices heard during this pandemic. In the 2018 election, 30 million Americans voted by mail, five states conduct their elections almost entirely by mail, and nearly all other states are providing voters with increased vote-by-mail options this year. American voters should be able to receive a mail-in ballot, the completed ballot needs to be delivered to election officials, and the USPS should have the resources it needs to deliver ballots in a timely manner.
Beyond mail-in voting, many communities and groups depend greatly on the USPS: seniors and people with disabilities for their social security benefits and prescription medicines; rural and Native communities who lack other affordable delivery options; Americans who lack Internet connectivity; workers for their paychecks; veterans for medicines and VA benefits; and small businesses to ship their products to customers.
As the nation continues to endure the coronavirus pandemic, a robust and dependable USPS is needed more than ever. To ensure that the USPS can continue to play the vital role it always has for our economy, our health, and our democracy, please vote “yes” on HR 8015, the Delivering for America Act, later this week.
See attached for full list of signers