Opinion | Don’t pressure post offices

With the cuts to USPS efficiency, relying on it for mail-in voting is questionable.

Peyton Downing, Opinions Editor


Earlier this month, President Trump admitted in an interview with Fox Business that he was denying funding to the United States Postal Service in order to disrupt mail-in ballots for the November election.

With the current problems facing the USPS, voters need to ensure they are prepared to vote in case they are not voting in-person.

The slowdowns to the USPS are from a variety of fronts. The current Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump appointee, has begun engaging in large cuts to the post office, including the removal of mail-sorting machines, collection boxes, and the reversal of a policy that treated ballots as high priority mail.

While the USPS has delayed removing mailboxes and sorting machines until after the election, the machines already removed will not be reinstated.

This is not just a nationwide issue devoid of state-specific problems either.

The Trump re-election campaign sued two Iowa counties that have tried to make it easier to vote absentee by filling in voter information on ballot request forms.

This lawsuit would invalidate “tens of thousands of ballot request forms,” that are already in the hands of election auditors, according to the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

One of the counties happens to be Johnson County, in which the University of Iowa, and consequently most of the student population, is located.

If the U.S. District Court rules in favor of the Trump campaign, anyone who already submitted a request form would have to submit another request form to receive an absentee ballot.

The Iowa Secretary of State’s office claims that county governments are not allowed to set-up ballot drop boxes despite them being used in primaries.

These may seem like minor issues but putting up roadblocks to the fundamental right of voting is absolutely absurd. The defense of election security is flimsy considering there is no evidence of fraud where absentee and mail-in ballots are concerned.

The only reason why these measures would be put in place is to make it more difficult for as many people to vote possible.

Now, more than ever, it is important to understand everything necessary to cast your vote in this election. Regardless of party affiliation, the voice of the electorate needs to be heard. Voting is how that happens.

With the cuts to the USPS, it is possible they will be unable to adequately handle all the ballots sent in. To avoid that worst-case scenario, it is necessary for voters to take steps to ensure that ballots are delivered in a timely fashion.

The Iowa Secretary of State website has an easily usable search engine to find your county’s auditor. For Johnson County, that would be Travis Weipert.

As far ahead as possible, contact your county’s auditor and figure out what avenues you have to cast your ballot for the election this November. Ask about ballot drop off locations, registration, all of it.

While these roadblocks to voting are atrocious, it is nevertheless something we as voters must contend with for the time being. Do not let apathy and laziness get the best of you. For the love of our democracy, our country, and our future, please:

Vote.


Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.


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