TUCSON, Ariz. - Congress needs to act to make sure the Postal Service is not starved out of the resources it needs to carry the load of a vote by mail election. That was Congressman Raul Grijalva’s message as he spoke also with Postal Union reps Tuesday.
In the age of COVID, a lot of us won’t go near a crowded polling place. We will vote by mail. And some politicians are worried the Trump administration will do all it can to make sure that does not go smoothly.
Congressman Raul Grijalva says Louis DeJoy, the Postmaster General President Trump appointed, is taking away postal resources and limiting overtime just when they ‘re needed to handle a surge of mail-in ballots.
Grijalva thinks that’s an effort to suppress the vote because the President said he thinks vote by mail favors Democrats.
Grijalva’s headed back to DC soon to vote for the Delivering for America Act designed to stop postal cuts and add to the postal service budget. Grijalva says it’s against the best interests of either party to cripple the Postal Service.
He says, “59% of Republicans support the Delivering for America Act and 78% of Democrats, so it's bipartisan. So I think that you risk serious political damage, more than he has already if he refuses to sign this piece of legislation.”
Grijalva says to be sure, that bill still needs to pass, even with the Postmaster General now promising to avoid any service changes until after the election.
The Tucson area head of the American Postal Workers Union expects cuts to degrade your mail service.
Michael Moriconi says, “We're in the process of losing four mail processing machines that process anywhere between 10,000 and 30,000 pieces of mail per hour. With the reduction in those services, it's going to affect your delivery times on everything from letters, flats to parcels to everything else. It's an unprecedented type of move. I've worked for the post office for 16 years. I've never seen anything like it.”
Nine On Your Side talked with Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez. She expects Pima County’s elections to run smoothly because the system is already used to 80 percent of voters casting their ballots by mail and she’s confident in arrangements she’s made with the Postal Service.