Trump Says He Will Block Funding for the Postal Service
It has become obvious that Donald Trump is committed to stopping people from voting by mail. His appointment of Louis DeJoy, a major contributor to the Republican party and Trump campaign as Postmaster General, has raised concern of his handling recently of the Post Office. DeJoy has instituted changes that are seen as deliberate attempts to slow down the mail service so that it will interfere with the possibility of people being able to vote by mail.
What I have learned in the past few days is that most states will not count your vote if it is not received by November 3, 2020, even if is postmarked by then. This is in stark contrast to the fact that the Post Office stays open for collection until midnight on April 15th of every year to make sure you are not assessed a penalty for turning in your tax return late. As a former postal worker, I know that we had people standing outside the main post office until midnight so you could just hand your return to them without leaving your vehicle, and they would then take them inside to be postmarked with the April 15 date no matter how late it took to accomplish this.
It has been reported that DeJoy has removed mail sorting machines, tried to remove collection mailboxes, and stopped postal workers from getting overtime in order to slow down postal operations. With the COVID-19 virus still spreading and killing people, most people see this as the only way to be able to safely vote in November. Well there are at least two viable alternatives to override this blatant attempt to undermine democracy and our right to vote.
- Louis DeJoy, New Postmaster General, Is Top GOP Donor : NPR
Louis DeJoy, a successful North Carolina businessman, has donated millions to Republican candidates, including the Trump campaign.
Increase the Polling Sites
Since Trump doesn't want to authorize the money to fund postal operations to handle the extra load that will be put on the postal service, he could authorize that money to be directed to increase the number of polling sites in places known to have a problem with overcrowding and long lines. Since there are so many schools, colleges, and malls closed because of the virus, these places could be used as polling places to relieve the long lines.
It would be easy to add voting machines and properly distance them. You could hire more workers to make sure people keep there distance in line and to sanitize the voting booth after each person votes. This is done when I use the kiosk at Spectrum to pay my bill so it should be no big deal to do it for the voting machines. We can at least triple the number of polling places if we use these facilities.
Drop Your Ballot Off in Person
The second option that was presented to me is even better. Have your ballot mailed out to you and you can return it in person. Just as I mentioned earlier about returning your tax return by midnight, you could drop it off at a polling place or the best option would be to drop it off at your local registrar's office.
This would guarantee that your vote is counted on time and help relieve the load on the Post Office. Again, the funding that Trump is trying to deny the Post Office could be used to hire more temporary workers to handle the load. I believe these two options alone would counteract Trump's attempt to undermine our election. Just like the Post Office has workers standing outside to take your tax return, these places could do the same to ensure our right to vote is upheld.
Thomas Blackshear (author) from Greensboro on September 26, 2020:
Yes James. I see a lot of states are taking the mail ballots directly at the Board of Elections. I took mine in person here in North Carolina last week. No chance of it being delayed by the mail. I filled out a short form to verify it was received also. Then I checked the website and it confirms it was received in person.
James C Moore from Joliet, IL on September 25, 2020:
Good tips. Early in person absentee began today in my state of Illinois. The National Conference of State Legislatures web site ncsl.org has a list of states along with mail in and early voting in person options for every state. It can be searched with "state laws governing early voting" along with the the site name.