In an interview on Fox News yesterday (as reported by Time Magazine), President Donald Trump made the following comment about his decision to defund the U. S. Postal Service:
“They need that money in order to have the Post Office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots. But if they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting because they’re not equipped to have it. Now, if we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money. That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting, they just can’t have it.” (See https://news.yahoo.com/president-trump-says-wants-block-204215189.html )
Those were the words of a hostage-taker, a man willing to burn down the house and everyone in it if he doesn’t get his way.
Doubters need only note the following:
The U. S. Postal Service delivers not just ballots, but other important items to our fellow citizens every day. These include (a) Social Security checks, pension checks, and other forms of money in cases where people prefer not to have those funds deposited directly to their bank accounts; (b) prescription drugs from pharmacies (like mine) who deliver by mail for purposes of convenience; (c) certified letters containing legal documents; (d) goods delivered by companies who choose the USPS over competing companies like UPS and FedEx; (e) birthday cards, anniversary cards, sympathy cards, and other cards and letters of a highly personal nature; and (f) a host of advertisements (sometimes including coupons) that may annoy us for time to time, but which may also be the lifeblood of small businesses in our communities.
That means President Donald Trump is willing to inflict pain and inconvenience on millions of Americans just to have his own way when it comes to mail-in voting.
But, for purposes of this blog, let’s pretend for a moment that the only purpose of the U. S. Postal Service is to deliver ballots. Do we really, in the midst of a pandemic, want to force people to stand next to each other in long lines when there is another, safer alternative? Here in the State of Washington, almost everyone has been voting by mail for the past several elections. Here’s an important fact about the way we vote: There’s also a convenient dropbox in every community for anyone who doesn’t trust the U. S. Postal Service to handle their ballot.
When I complete my ballot, I place it in the security sleeve provided by the Secretary of State, which then goes inside an outer envelope, which I sign and include my return address and phone number. If there’s any doubt about my signature or return address, I get a phone call, meaning that I might have to show my I.D. card to someone. But that’s never happened since I started voting here in 2017. (Nor does that happen to most people who have cast absentee ballots across the nation over the years.)
President Trump has just requested his mail-in ballot in order to vote in Florida’s upcoming primary. Apparently, he trusts the U. S. Postal Service and the Florida Secretary of State to handle his ballot in a manner that is safe and secure.
All Americans deserve that option.