Postal service “fully capable” of delivering election mail on time

Washington Postmaster General Louis DeJoy assured Congress Friday that the U.S. Postal Service will be able to process the nation’s post-in ballots in November.

“As we approach the election season, I want to assure this commission, and the American public, that the Postal Service is fully capable of delivering the nation’s election post safely and on time,” DeJoy said.

DeJoy, who is at the center of controversy over cost-cutting changes to the Postal Service that has raised concerns about the possibility of handling post-in-votes for the November election, testified Friday before the First Security Commission of the Senate and Government Affairs.

President Trump’s key Republican donor and close ally appeared before the Republican-led panel to answer questions about the postal agency’s finances and operations during the coronavirus pandemic, which has intensified the Postal Service’s fiscal woes, and the upcoming general elections.

After being installed the postmaster general in June, he implemented a series of operational changes, designed to save the Post Office money, limit overtime and prohibit postal workers from making additional trips for late arrivals. Under his supervision of the agency, there have also been reports of blue mail storage boxes being removed and a reduction of large mail sorting machines.

The shifts lead to a reduction in mail delivery.

DeJoy said Friday that he is “very confident” that the Postal Service will be able to ensure that sent votes are processed and counted seven days before election day. “We will track every plant every night, until election day,” he promised.

He also expressed support for mail voting, telling senators, “I think the American public should be able to vote by mail, and the Postal Service will support it.”

That said, in response to questions about letters sent by the Postal Service to 46 states and the District of Columbia warning that postal ballots could not be processed in time to count, DeJoy said the issue was with deadlines for state for sending election mail. He indicated that some deadlines were too close to Election Da and encouraged Americans to vote early.

“I never talked to the president about the postal service,” DeJoy said. He also said he never spoke with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin or White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows about changes in service.