Election season is approaching very quickly, and due to Covid-19 we have to find a way to start voting if the people want to get their voices heard.
It’s become unsafe for people to wait in long lines with others to vote in an election when there are “Stay-At-Home” orders and limits on social gatherings. All states currently have some version of mail-in voting, but where a person lives determines how they go about mail-in voting. North Carolina has “No-Excuse” mail-in voting, meaning anyone who wants to vote by mail may request a mail-in voting ballot without providing an excuse. Other states have either open mail-in voting or “Excuse-required” mail-in voting, meaning a person can vote by mail if he or she provides an excuse and is granted permission to do so.
In May, Louis DeJoy, a NC businessman who ran a company that worked with the Postal Service, was appointed Postmaster General. A July 10 memo from DeJoy made changes to the USPS that focused on curbing overtime pay and limiting processing and delivery time for mail. The memo says the changes are geared toward “transportation and the soaring costs we incur, due to late trips and extra trips, which costs the organization somewhere around $200 million in added expenses.” The memo deauthorizes late and extra trips from mail facilities and leads to cuts in hours for mail carriers, processors, and other USPS employees.
The changes lead to a mid-August warning from the USPS that the organization may not be able to get completed ballots back to election officials in time for the November election. For example, most elections use Non-Profit Marketing Mail service, which usually requires a period of 3-10 days for delivery. With the recent changes, that time frame is expanded, meaning it could take upwards of two weeks to deliver ballots. August 22, The House of Representatives passed legislation to prevent any further changes at the USPS.Citizens mail are coming in more slowly because of this cause.
After the changes and disagreements over mail in voting and the USPS a deal was made between the Treasury and the USPS for a $10 billion CARES Act loan if the organization needs funds to continue operating. Mail in voting is still a voting possibility as long as the USPS stays going.