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Vote by Mail: The Postal Service Can Handle It

Judy Beard

September 16, 2020

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(This article first appeared in the September/October 2020 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

Mail-in voter fraud is a conspiracy. The real problem is voter suppression.

With the Nov. 3 election fast approaching, fighting voter suppression remains one of the American Postal Workers Union’s top priorities. We believe that every citizen should exercise their right to vote this election and every election. Unfortunately, it is no secret that voter suppression tactics have been used repeatedly in American elections. As much as we would like to believe we have come a long way from the days of poll taxes and literacy tests, voter suppression persists.

The most marginalized and disenfranchised among us are the most likely victims of voter suppression. Those targeted include black and brown people, seniors, people with disabilities, low-income communities, immigrants and college students. Common voter suppression tactics include implementing voter ID laws, changing polling place hours and locations, closing polling places, maintaining inaccessible polling places, purging voter rolls, and gerrymandering. This election season, we have even seen voter misinformation campaigns carried out via social media and robocalls.

Amid the ongoing pandemic, there are those in power weaponizing this crisis to discourage people from voting. Many Americans, particularly the elderly and immunocompromised, are concerned about their health and safety and are on the fence about going to the polls. However, some voters are reluctant to use the alternative, vote-by-mail, because of the lies they have heard undermining the Postal Service’s ability to process their ballot. Scaring people from voting by attacking this country’s most beloved institution is disgraceful and another form of voter suppression.

The Postal Service has ample capacity to handle election mail. Since the Civil War, the Postal Service has delivered ballots and enabled this country’s democratic process. In 2016 alone, 139 million people exercised their right to vote, with over 30 million people voting by mail. Every ballot received first-class treatment in that election. The current Postmaster General has made that same commitment for this November 3rd election. As with any highvolume season, the Postal Service will make the necessary adjustments to process and deliver vote-by-mail applications and incoming/ outgoing ballots. Voters can rest assured that postal employees will treat ballots with the utmost care and concern.

Presently, we have leaders fear-mongering about the integrity of voting by mail, claiming that it will lead to voter fraud. There is no evidence that voting by mail has ever led to an increase in voter fraud. Generally, voter fraud is extremely rare—the rate of voter fraud overall in the U.S. is only 0.00006%. In the face of a pandemic, mail-in ballots are integral to ensuring voters can vote safely and confidently. The Postal Service will continue its more than 150-year tradition of enabling the American people to safely and securely vote by mail.

We all have a role to play in protecting the integrity of our elections and combating voter suppression. We must speak up against lies spread about voter fraud. Let friends and family members know that voting by mail is safe and secure. Together, we can elect leaders who will fight for voting rights. Help defend our democracy by sharing this important election information far and wide:

  • Register to vote and make sure you’re still registered to vote. You can check your status by visiting apwu.org/labor-2020.
  • Ask friends and family members to check their voter registration status.
  • Encourage eligible voters you know to vote by mail.
  • Request your ballot early for those of you who will not automatically receive a ballot.
  • Mail your ballot in early.
  • Vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, who have been endorsed by APWU’s Executive Board (click here for more information).

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