One would think that the Trump administration has done everything it can to sabotage the Post Office and, in effect, suppress votes in the upcoming election.
But no, it looks they have found yet another way.
Trump donor and hand-picked Postmaster Louis DeJoy has already put in initiatives to ensure that the mail is slowed down. He has curbed overtime so work doesn’t get done. He has taken out mail sorting machines so work can’t be done as quickly. He has removed postal drop boxes from many corners in American cities according to reports.
His boss, Donald Trump, has literally told America that he is blocking a deal that would give the Post Office the funding it needs to ensure that the expected massive mail-in voting system can operate up to snuff.
Now, the Post Office has announced it will be temporarily increasing prices starting Oct. 18. The USPS filed the notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission on Friday for the temporary price increase, and says it will last until Dec. 27, 2020.
According to the USPS, the planned price increase was authorized and approved by the Governors of the Postal Service back on Aug. 6 and would raise prices on commercial domestic “competitive parcels.” Those include, Priority Mail Express, First-Class Package Service, Priority Mail, Parcel Return Service, and Parcel Select.
One doesn’t have to be a “stable genius” to see the effect this can have. When it gets to be less than 2 weeks before the election, the time most experts say people will need to make sure their ballots get in on time, if they wish to send their ballots using a faster service it will cost them more. This could be viewed as a de facto “poll tax” that is highly unconstitutional.
The House Oversight Committee has now called Postmaster DeJoy to testify over a month earlier than his previously scheduled hearing with them. It will be interesting to hear how he can defend these moves, which are seen by millions of Americans as voter suppression tactics. It will also be interesting to see what other actions Congress takes to stop these moves.