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Madison Mayor issues letter asking Postmaster General to clarify reliability of USPS come November

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway issued a list of things she wants clarified to the U.S. Postmaster General Tuesday in response to the USPSs plans to put operational changes on hold until after the November election.

In her letter, the Mayor asks for clarification on the following to provide election officials and voters with realistic expectations about the reliability of the USPS come November:

1. What has changed in USPS operations to warrant the State of Wisconsin receiving a notice that we can expect a delay in the handling of absentee ballots during this election?

2. Information received by our office indicates that you have removed sorting machines from Milwaukee and Madison, based on data showing lower mail rates due to COVID-19. Is this correct? Do you plan on returning this equipment? If not, why not?

3. If the delay you have warned states about, is not due to the operational changes you have made, what is the cause of the delays you have warned about in your letter?

4. Do you expect that the delivery of ballots will be delayed for any reason? If so, how long of a delay in delivery of completed ballots do you anticipate?

5. By what specific date will a completed absentee ballot need to be received by the USPS in order to ensure that it will be delivered to the addressee clerk’s office by November 3rd?

6. If a voter mails a ballot less than a week before Election Day can the voter expect that ballot to be received by Election Day?

7. We understand that in the past, all absentee ballots were treated as first class mail. Will the post office continue this procedure in 2020? If not, why not?

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said he would “suspend” several of his initiatives — including the removal of the distinctive blue mailboxes that prompted an outcry — until after the election “to avoid even the appearance of impact on election mail.”

But on Tuesday, the Postmaster General said he plans to stop the removal of mail-processing machines and blue collection boxes, as well as an initiative to change retail hours at post offices. He also said no mail processing facilities will be closed and said the agency has not eliminated overtime.

He issues a statement Tuesday saying, “even with the challenges of keeping our employees and customers safe and healthy as they operate amid a pandemic, we will deliver the nation’s election mail on time…”

Rhodes-Conway also asked the USPS to reaffirm its commitment to moving first class mail that is received by a post office on a given day before postal workers are done for that day.

Copyright 2020 WMTV. All rights reserved.

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