Senate Democrats hammered the U.S. postmaster general Friday over mail-in balloting concerns in a contentious hearing that included one lawmaker’s profane outburst over a glitch in his remote video connection.
Meanwhile, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy aimed to reassure Democrats and Americans who are concerned that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) may not be able to deliver their mail-in ballots on time for the Nov. 3 election amid swirling controversy over the security of mail-in voting and changes that DeJoy has made in his short tenure as postmaster general.
“As we head into this election season, I want to assure this committee and the American public that the Postal Service is fully capable and committed to delivering the nation’s election mail securely and on time. This sacred duty is my No. 1 priority between now and election day,” DeJoy said.
He added: “The women and men of the Postal Service have demonstrated extraordinary commitment for our mission throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In every community in America we continue to work to keep our employees and customers safe as we fulfill our essential role depending medications, benefit checks and financial statements the public depends upon.”
DeJoy entered his current post in June and quickly began making what were framed as money-saving changes to the constantly-in-the-red post office. But critics, mainly Democrats, have said that those changes have slowed mail service and said they could undermine USPS’ ability to deliver ballots this fall — especially after USPS sent letters to most states warning that the Post Office might not be able to deliver mail-in ballots on time under their mail-in voting rules. There is expected to be an uptick in mail-in ballots this fall as states encourage such voting to limit citizens’ risk of contracting the coronavirus.