The Post Office’s Real Problems are Older and Bigger Than Politicians Want to Admit
Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.
The U.S. Postal Service has become an unexpected hot button issue in the presidential race, with accusations and rumors lying about slow mail deliveries, closed branches, absent mailboxes, and much more.
Does the Post Office have problems? Absolutely, and official Washington has been told about them, repeatedly and for years.
As Reason’s Nick Gillespie writes, the real problem with the Post Office and any possible problems it may have handling a surge in the number of mail-in ballots this November isn’t because of a sinister Republican plot. The Postal Service’s problems have always been there, in plain sight, for anyone willing to pay attention:
…if the USPS screws up delivering votes in a timely and efficient manner this fall, it won’t be because of any sinister actions by the White House. It will be because of longstanding, well-documented managerial and cultural problems that gave rise to such stock portrayals of letter carriers as Seinfeld’s Newman and Cheers’ Cliff Clavin. As Reason’s Eric Boehm has documented, it may take weeks or even months for a final tally of all votes this fall; depending on the closeness of the race on Election Day, that waiting period may be excruciating to live through. But that has less to do with the USPS and more to do with local and state voting boards.
For those who are interested in the post office’s chronically bad performance and “unsustainable” situation, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has produced a long list of studies on where the problems come from and how they might be addressed. The short version is that Congress has blocked all sorts of serious reforms to an operation that has seen a 33 percent decline in mail volume since 2006.
If you do want an option to cast an in-person ballot on Nov. 3, don’t want to trust your ballot to the mail, 39 states and DC offer early, in-person voting. More information on that, including dates and procedures, can be found here.