News Conference on the USPS Funding Crisis and the 2020 Election
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If the U.S. Postal Service Runs Out of Money, What Does That Mean for the 2020 Elections?
Call-In News Conference Wednesday, April 29 with Vermont and Washington Secretaries of State and Postal Workers Union President on USPS Funding Crisis and 2020 Elections
Montpelier, VT – On Wednesday, April 29 at 1pm (EDT)/10am (PDT), Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos, Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman, and American Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein hold a call-in news conference about the critical services the United States Postal Service (USPS) provides in local, state and federal elections. They also discuss the threats to the election process posed by USPS’ funding crisis.
In testimony before the U.S. Congress earlier this month, Postmaster General Megan Brennan said the USPS could run out of money by this summer unless Congress provides stimulus funds. The USPS’ declining revenue has been widely reported by news organizations including The New York Times and National Public Radio. Less attention has been devoted to how USPS’ financial crisis will affect the use of absentee ballots and by-mail voting, which is expected to increase this election year during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What: Call-in news conference on USPS’ financial crisis and implications for by-mail voting
Who: Secretary of State Jim Condos (D-VT), Secretary of State Kim Wyman (R-WA) and American Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein
When: Wednesday, April 29, 1pm (EDT)/10am (PDT)
“As election officials, we rely on the postal service to deliver registration information and absentee or by-mail ballots to and from voters,” said Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos. “Mid-election year is a time when we need certainty that we can count on the postal service to provide these critical services, especially as we plan for conducting our elections in the midst of a global pandemic.”
Vermont’s no-excuse, early/absentee voting process allows all voters to request an early ballot by mail. Washington is one of five states where elections are entirely conducted by mail.
“If Congress does not act to fund the United States Postal Service, we stand to lose more than just vital mail services,” said Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman. “The goal of every election official is to instill confidence in our voters, ensuring our elections are accessible and secure. The moment one of these standards diminishes — in this case, access to the ballot — we jeopardize one of the pillars of our democracy: free and fair elections.”
USPS relies on the sale of stamps and services for funding. The Post Office’s revenues are projected to be off by as much as 50 percent this year due to the pandemic.
“It’s unclear what would happen if USPS runs out of funds,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “USPS could cease to operate, which would create major consequences for the cost, efficiency and integrity of our elections this fall.”