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USPS Removes Collection Boxes in Time for Oregon’s Special Election

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Oregon citizens expressed surprise at seeing large trucks hauling away USPS collection boxes on Aug. 13, 2020. Removal of the iconic symbol of freedom seems too coincidental with a special election coming in two weeks. The state uses mail-in voting — exclusively.

Much like sending federal troops into Portland was an “experiment” to see if he could get away with it, the removal of mailboxes just before an election dependant on the USPS is his newest move in the crazed game President Trump adores.

Election No. 2 — Rhetoric Repeat

USPSEarlier in the day, August 13, Trump admitted he was withholding the Postal Service’s budget to sabotage mail-in voting for the upcoming presidential election November 3. He proudly boasted this intent during a discussion with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo.

Trump told her the “Democratic demands to fund mail-in voting and the U.S. Postal Service in ongoing coronavirus stimulus negotiations were a non-starter,” according to Axios. The money requested by the House of Representatives is intended to make voting safer during the coronavirus pandemic and to fund the USPS.

The president’s relentless and baseless claims about voter-fraud associated with ballots mailed out to the voter and returned to the election office for tallying. Earlier this year Trump began to disable the USPS efficiency by installing a new Post Master General, Louis DeJoy — a man without any experience.

The USPS handles hundreds of thousands of ballots every election. Registered voters in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and D.C. will be voting by mail in the upcoming election. Citizens and military personnel living abroad also cast their ballots using the postal service. Moreover, every state allows those who are unable to vote in person the option to request absentee ballots.

It seems the president, who is not fairing well in the polls for a multitude of reasons, is determined to further divide the United States. His claims that the 2020 election could be “the greatest fraud in history” only serves to inflame his base.

Interestingly, he complained that if the USPS were to handle all of the ballots Republicans would never win an election again. He could be right. Voting stations in Black and brown neighborhoods are moved without prior notifications, district boundaries are often redrawn — making it near-impossible for people to vote. If the majority in these communities are indeed Democrats and they can easily mail in their ballots then he might be correct.

USPS Changes Designed to Disrupt Elections

The USPS mailbox removal prompted local postal workers to speak out. ‘Many postal workers contend is intended to sabotage the agency during an election year. Portland postal workers warned earlier this month that voters should be wary of using the mail to deliver their ballots in the final week of the August special election,” according to Willamette Week.

Since fewer boxes will make it harder for Oregonians to send their completed ballots off the election offices, there are alternative solutions available. Many cities have small voting stations where a person uses the ballot received in the mail and there are locked drop-off boxes at libraries and police stations. On election day, locations are set up in every county with volunteers accepting completed ballots and placing them in locked boxes.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

Willamette Week: U.S. Postal Service Confirms It Has Removed Mailboxes in Portland and Eugene

United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General: Where Have All the Collection Boxes Gone?

NPR OPB: FACT CHECK: Trump Spreads Unfounded Claims About Voting By Mail

Featured Image Courtesy of Jen Gallardo’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Inset Image Courtesy of josephmccowie’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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