We Need Better Service Standards to Secure 2022 Mail Ballot Protections

Debby Szeredy

May 6, 2022

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(This article first appeared in the May/June 2022 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

Mid-term elections are November 8, 2022. All 435 seats are up for election in the House of Representatives, with 48 members having announced their retirement. Thirty-five Senate seats are up for election in this cycle. Vote-by-mail can make the difference in electing the representatives we need to save the Postal Service. The USPS’s obligation is to assure that every person’s mailed-in ballot makes it to election authorities on time. It is dangerous when the USPS continues to delay and slow down first-class mail, which includes our mail ballot service. Part of the voter suppression tactics across the country has been to shorten the time period for when mail ballots are sent and returned, knowing that the USPS has degraded service standards.

Eight States conduct their elections entirely by mail - CA, CO, HI, NV, OR, UT, VT, WA. Two more, NE and ND, permit counties to opt into conducting elections by mail. Nine States - AK, AZ, FL, KS, MD, MO, MT, NM, WY, allow specific small vote-by-mail elections for certain small jurisdictions. (Statistics from National Conference of State Legislatures, a nonpartisan organization).

USPS mail delay complaints have increased due to:

  • degraded service standards made by the PMG,
  • consolidation of mail processing facilities that have damaged our network,
  • continued violation of contracting out at transportation hubs instead of utilizing our postal workers,
  • decreasing prompt air mail services
  • and raising prices for service, while refusing to fix the delayed services.

Prior to 2013, the Postal Service provided its best service to our country. First-class mail was delivered overnight in many cities. Mail delay complaints were low, and service performance was high. The degradation of Postal Service Standards degrades the work and pride of postal workers.

We must go back to the 2012 Service Standards, protect and build back our mail processing network to provide prompt mail service. You can help by educating more people on how to voteby- mail, and to vote for those Representatives that will protect vote-by-mail and support going back to the 2012 Service Standards.

Let’s Make the National APWU Organizing Drive May 1 – July 1, 2022 a Historic Labor Victory

Unionizing the workplace has become big news around the country. It’s time to join in and make our APWU union stronger, with the goal to have all our non-members make the bold choice to become 100% unionized. When we sign up our non-members, we stand and support each other as APWU Family. Our benefits far outweigh those workers who have no union or contract. Our union is worker-led,

of multi-racial, multi-gender workers who are not afraid to fight, helping to enforce our contract, and to stop hostile work environments. Our work environment needs fixing but it is truly a collective effort. Show the Postmaster General that we are not afraid to fight and build until we are 100% strong.

Contact your local union representative and ask how you can help. There will be lots of incentives for locals to reach their goals, and plenty of material to educate nonmembers as to why it pays to belong and stand together. Put together a committee to plan a Union Appreciation Day or Week, breakrooms chats, have sign-up parties, set up a special table or rack with 1187 forms, educational materials and computer availability to sign up online.

Contact our Organization Director Anna Smith and keep updated by visiting apwu.org/unionpower.

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