The United States Postal Service is reaching uncertain times. In communication today with WLDS News, Strategic Communications Specialist Kimberly Caldwell-Harvey out of St. Louis says that collection box removals are currently being evaluated in the area. Harvey says that the Postal Service has postponed those removals over the next 90 days while they evaluate customer concerns. An inquiry directly to the Jacksonville Post Office was not returned.
According to Business Insider, the collection boxes aren’t the only thing being removed. An internal letter published by the USPS in June outlined a plan to remove hundreds of mail-sorting machines from operation this year. It’s the latest in a series of sweeping changes that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has made to the agency since taking office earlier this summer.
18th District Congressman Darin LaHood says his concerns doesn’t lie with the Postal Service itself but the issue of ballot harvesting from Illinois’ mail-in ballot system: “We haven’t had very many issues in Illinois with the absentee voting. What I have an issue with and what I have concerns about is the ballot harvesting. There has been prosecutions across the country where in states, and remember every state can set up their own voting system depending on what their voters decide there and what their legislatures decide, where ballot harvesting has been an issue like in California. I think that it’s something that we have to look out for. In Illinois, it’s illegal to harvest ballots. We have to make sure that we have a secure system that people have confidence in it. In Illinois, I think we are on the right track on that but other states, I’m not so sure.”
President Donald Trump said in an interview on Fox Business last Thursday he was withholding more funding to the postal service because of fears of fraudulent mail-in balloting. Trump said today that he would like to fund the Postal Service if it would run more efficiently and stop losing money. Congress is currently being called back to Washington D.C. today to vote on emergency measures with funding the postal service. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Postal Service lost $2.2 billion last quarter. A recent document from the Postal Service, obtained by The Associated Press, described the need for an “operational pivot” to make the cash-strapped agency financially stable.