Questions about the U.S. Postal Service operations and leadership during the November election are rising, but it can be hard to discern from corporate media coverage what is actually happening. Many different networks have accused President Trump of disrupting USPS operations for political gain, even going so far as to claim he wants to “rewrite history” in a “crusade” against postal services.
On Sunday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other congressional Democrats called for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the USPS Board of Governors to testify in Congress about some of these myths and the “operational changes at the Postal Service that are slowing the mail and jeopardizing the integrity of the election.”
“The President has explicitly stated his intention to manipulate the Postal Service to deny eligible voters access to the ballot in pursuit of his own re-election. Alarmingly, the Postmaster General – a Trump mega-donor – has acted as an accomplice in the President’s campaign to cheat in the election, as he launches sweeping new operational changes that degrade delivery standards and delay the mail,” a press release from Pelosi reads.
Today, @SenSchumer, @RepMaloney & @SenGaryPeters join me in an urgent call for Postmaster General DeJoy and @USPS Board of Governors Chair Duncan to testify before the Congress. https://t.co/U1Jg03vaKd
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 16, 2020
Pelosi also called the House back for a special legislative session after multiple congressional Democrats requested an emergency session to determine the future of USPS and DeJoy, despite failing to pass a second coronavirus spending bill in the most recent term.
Although the left is determined to prove through myths that Trump wants to “steal” the election, here are some facts about USPS and the election that show a different side than the corporate media might lead you to believe.
1. USPS Is Not Required By The Constitution
Despite some leftist claims, postal services in the United States, while mentioned in the Constitution, are not mandated by it. Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution simply grants Congress “the Power […] To establish Post Office Boxes and Roads.”
While Congress legislated to ensure different mechanisms within the postal service would continue to run and mandated that the postmaster general report to the president, there is no guarantee beyond congressional resolutions and laws to dictate USPS’s existence.
2. USPS Was Created to Be a Financially Independent and Sustainable Agency
While USPS receives a “yearly appropriation of about $55 million,” it is considered an “independent agency” responsible for gaining and maintaining its own revenue. The agency does have the ability to ask additional appropriations and borrow money from the Treasury, and has recently received funds through the CARES Act coronavirus law from Congress, but generally relies on its own income from services.
Despite outlandish claims by the corporate media that USPS funding has dropped simply because of the emphasis on the election, U.S. postal services have been losing money for years. In 2019, the USPS racked up a deficit of $8.8 billion on its own accord.
3. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy Was Not Simply Appointed For His Republican Ties
Even though DeJoy has a history of donating to Republicans and the Trump campaign, he also “made a fortune in shipping and logistics” and previously had a company that was a “contractor of the Postal Service for many years.”
DeJoy was unanimously chosen in May by the USPS Board of Governors, who are “appointed by the president with advice and consent of the senate” and are limited in partisanship to “no more than 5 of the 10 Governors from the same party.”
4. USPS Will Not Cease Operations Before the Election
Despite its financial troubles and speculation from many about its operational state, USPS still has the resources and funds to continue operations through the election in November. As a matter of fact, the USPS quarterly report at the end of June testified that postal services have “sufficient liquidity to continue operating through at least August 2021.”
An official statement released by USPS also promised that recent financial troubles will not prevent them from attaining “projected Election and Political Mail volume.”
“The Postal Service has ample capacity to adjust our nationwide processing and delivery network to meet projected Election and Political Mail volume, including any additional volume that may result as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the agency said in a statement.
5. Voter Fraud Through Mail-In Ballots Is Very Real
Corporate media recently made a fuss over President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump’s request for absentee ballots for the Florida primaries. President Trump has clarified that he has no problem with absentee ballots but opposes mass mail-in ballots due to fraud potential.
“Absentee ballots, by the way, are fine,” Trump previously said. “But the universal mail-ins that are just sent all over the place, where people can grab them and grab stacks of them, and sign them and do whatever you want, that’s the thing we’re against.”
There are many examples of recent voter fraud in the United States. In one local special election in Paterson, New Jersey, the “Postal Inspection Service found hundreds of ballots in one mailbox” as well as ballots that were “stolen (completed and empty) and filled out fraudulently, or were otherwise altered.”
“Absentee voting has the word absent in it for a reason. It means you’re absent from the jurisdiction or unable to vote in person,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany wrote in a statement. “President Trump is against the Democrat plan to politicize the coronavirus and expand mass mail-in voting without a reason, which has a high propensity for voter fraud. This is a simple distinction that the media fails to grasp.”
6. No, Trump Isn’t Stealing Your City’s Blue Mail Boxes
A viral tweet posted in early August showed a worker loading a truck with blue USPS collection boxes for transport in Portland.
“Please share this picture far and wide. Trump is trying to steal the election. He is gutting the USPS to make it difficult for people to vote by mail. Here in Oregon, that’s our only option. This demands attention!” the tweet read.
?Please share this picture far and wide. Trump is trying to steal the election. He is gutting the USPS to make it difficult for people to vote by mail. Here in Oregon, that’s our only option. This demands attention! @OregonGovBrown pic.twitter.com/JSsmA0FTzY
— Mark Ⴟ Delaney (@markdelaneysays) August 9, 2020
The conspiracy gained traction with many notable figures including Joe Biden, Taylor Swift, and members of Congress, with many tweeting about the issue on Twitter.
According to one reporter, Biden also spoke out at a virtual fundraising event claiming that “They’re going around literally with tractor trailers picking up mailboxes. You oughta go online and check out what they’re doing in Oregon. I mean, it’s bizarre!”
Postal Service spokesman Steve Doherty said the removal of many of the collection boxes is “standard procedure” for general upkeep. The USPS website also states that “If the box is owned and maintained by the US Postal Service and is damaged/broken,” the local Post Office is responsible for its maintenance.
In addition to maintenance, local news outlets in Portland reported that some of the collection boxes were being spread around the city to avoid crowding and duplicates.
Others also speculated that mailboxes were being locked creating an “immediate threat to American democracy,” but these rumors were quickly debunked after Richard J. Maher, a USPS spokesman in Los Angeles and Orange counties, explained the locks were to prevent a recent uptick in mail theft.
“We do this where we have had incidents, or there is a problem where the box may be out in a not very well lit public place. The boxes have been retrofitted all over Southern California,” he said.
In your entire life have you ever seen a LOCKED mailbox at the USPS?
Now you have.
A disgrace and immediate threat to American democracy. Shame on them. Shame on the GOP.
— Rex Chapman?? (@RexChapman) August 17, 2020