ANOTHER VIEW Is the Postal Service ready for mail in ballots?
Today, as the United States Postal Service has been attacked by all sides of the aisle, does anyone really understand the guiding principles? Yes, it is more than just the mail person delivering six days a week in ALL parts of this great country. As a former employee of 33 years, I want to share a few thoughts.
Until the technology age, it was the USPS that provided the communication that bonded all of us together. For the simple price of a stamp, delivery was provided in all areas regardless of race, creed or wealth. Yes, USPS delivered by boat, horseback, seaplane and even mules to foster a communication network that was truly “First Class.” At the turn of this century over 115 billion pieces a year passed through the processing plants. In fact, USPS processed more mail in one day than the rest of the world combined.
Recent attacks on whether the USPS is up to task of processing and delivering 150 million ballots in a matter of a few weeks span; sorry, this is “a piece of cake.” Since the days of Ben Franklin, our first postmaster general, USPS has been providing reliable service, but technology has changed our lifestyle. Now a letter that was once sorted by hand, very accurately, is sorted by machines that may not identify a zip code correctly and send it to the West Coast instead of the East Coast. When you consider the error ratio of less than 1 percent on a 100 billion, that number is impressive. Major industries would accept the figures. How often do we recall a car, TV or toaster? You catch the drift. USPS stands as a trend- setter.
As a former postmaster and president of the Pennsylvania Association of Postmasters, the challenges the USPS has faced in recent years were extremely difficult at times. We survived after the historic catastrophe of the 9/11 attacks which paralyzed this country. If that was not enough, the invasion of the white powder anthrax that circulated through our mail system created fear for many Americans. Processing of the mail created new challenges for the organization and the more than 850,000 employees. USPS survived and delivered again.
“Postal Service” was created in 1973 when then President Richard Nixon signed a bill creating a non-government agency. Postal Service was to survive by the cost of the stamp with NO taxpayer money to be allocated to the newly formed agency.
Voting by Mail: Is the Postal Service ready for the challenge?
The answer is simply...YES!...YES!
When it processes and delivers billions of pieces each year, a few million will NOT disrupt the operation. The only delay that may occur is if you wait till the last day to respond and then blame it on USPS. A number of states currently offer vote by mail and have few problems except those which are generated by the counties or states in processing and not the USPS.
Finally, the question you can be sure to answer: Voting by mail is a safe and secure way to cast your ballot during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mail it a least a week in advance. But, VOTE!