by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Byron York of the Washington Examiner looks beyond the spin associated with reports about the U.S. Postal Service under President Trump.
The news is filled with reports of President Trump’s “assault” on the United States Postal Service. The president, Democrats and some in the media say, is deliberately slowing mail delivery and crippling the Postal Service so that it cannot handle an anticipated flood of voting by mail in the presidential election. Former President Barack Obama said Trump is trying to “actively kneecap” the Postal Service to suppress the vote. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called the House back into session this week and has set an “urgent hearing” for August 24, demanding Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the head of the Postal Service Board of Governors testify “to address the sabotage of the Postal Service.”
Some of the accusations have grown so frantic that they resemble the frenzy of a couple of years ago over the allegation, from many of the same people, that Trump had conspired with Russia to fix the 2016 election. Now, it’s the Postal Service. But what, actually, is going on? …
… The idea that the Postal Service will not be able to handle the volume of mail in the election, or not be able to handle it within normal Postal Service time guidelines, does not make much sense. According to its most recent annual report, last year, in fiscal year 2019, the Postal Service handled 142.5 billion pieces of mail. …
… In 2016, about 136 million Americans voted in the presidential election. The number will probably be a bit higher this year. If officials sent ballots to every single American registered to vote — about 158 million people — and then 140 million people returned ballots, the roughly 298 million pieces of mail handled over the course of several weeks would be well within the Postal Service’s ability to handle. Of course, officials will not send a ballot to every American registered to vote, and not every voter will vote by mail.