Day 1,302: Anti-democratic Donald Trump is trying to sabotage USPS, mail-in ballots to get reelected
Donald Trump is an authoritarian at heart. In recent weeks, he’s revealed those tendencies again and again, doing everything possible to throw doubt on the results of the 2020 election, despite those results being three months away. Those antidemocratic positions have included floating postponing the election and called expanding mail-in votes an “illegal late night coup”.
Trump knows he’s down in the race to Joe Biden and is desperately seeking a path to victory. He and his team have largely settled on the disenfranchisement of voters from coast-to-coast.
Seeing that he can’t do much about states choosing how they expand voting rights, Trump has chosen to cripple the United States Postal Service, triggering lengthy delays that may make wide-scale mail-in voting — during a pandemic, no less — impossible. He isn’t even bothering to hide the reasons behind his latest decisions.
During an interview on Fox News, Trump said that if USPS does not receive the additional $25 billion funding request that Democrats included in the ongoing stimulus negotiations, then he believes the Post Office won’t be able to handle the influx of mail-in ballots in the upcoming election.
“They want three and a half billion dollars for something that’ll turn out to be fraudulent, that’s election money basically. They want three and a half billion dollars for the mail-in votes. Universal mail-in ballots. They want $25 billion, billion, for the Post Office. Now they need that money in order to make the Post Office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump said, repeating his false claims that mail-in voting would be “fraudulent.”
“But if they don’t get those two items that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting because they’re not equipped to have it,” Trump added.
For reasons unexplained, the USPS is dismantling a number of vital mail sorting machines, which will make employees’ work much harder and add a significant amount of time to delivery of mail.
The United States Postal Service is removing mail sorting machines from facilities around the country without any official explanation or reason given, Motherboard has learned through interviews with postal workers and union officials. In many cases, these are the same machines that would be tasked with sorting ballots, calling into question promises made by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy that the USPS has “ample capacity” to handle the predicted surge in mail-in ballots.
Motherboard identified 19 mail sorting machines from five processing facilities across the U.S. that either have already been removed or are scheduled to be in the near future. But the Postal Service operates hundreds of distribution facilities around the country, so it is not clear precisely how many machines are getting removed and for what purpose.
DeJoy was handpicked by Trump for the job of postmaster general, and has a number of investments, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, in USPS competitors.
Meanwhile, there is not-so-subtle pressure on states from the USPS to stop widespread mail-in votes.
The systemic disenfranchisement of voters has always been a major political issue, with Republicans seeing it as perhaps the most important way to maintain power. Still, such attempts have rarely been so overt.
In hypocritical news, Trump and his wife have requested mail-in votes for Florida’s primary election on Tuesday.
1,302 days in, 160 to go
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