By Cassie Kim
With approximately 80 million people planning on voting by mail to maintain social distancing, the outcome of the presidential election this November heavily depends on mail-in ballots. Unfortunately, the United States Postal Service, the only public government mail service, has suffered from many budget cuts and has been forced to reduce their services. As a result of this, the USPS has released a statement, warning voters that “there is a significant risk that the voter will not have sufficient time to complete and mail the completed ballot…in time for it to arrive by the state’s return deadline.” The USPS predicts that they will not be able to handle the surge of mail-in votes this November. The pandemic, increasing the strain on the USPS, has also made the postal service a target for political conflict. Donald Trump has admitted to preventing people from voting by refusing funding to the USPS. In an interview with Fox Business, Trump stated that the USPS needs “that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots.” If mail-in votes do not get mailed and counted in time, the votes are not counted, undermining our entire democratic system. By denying the USPS much needed funding, the US government is endangering votes. In order to make sure your vote is counted this election, mail in your vote ahead of the due day, but if you want to avoid mail-in voting altogether, you can vote early in person, use a ballot drop off box, or drop off your vote at a polling location or an election office. To support the United States Postal Service, you can contact your local officials or you could buy some mailing stamps (the USPS´s entire budget comes from stamp sales) to send your friends and family some postcards during quarantine!
To contact your Senators: https://www.senate.gov/senators/How_to_correspond_senators.htm
To contact your Congressional Representative: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
To buy stamps: https://store.usps.com/store/home