By Jim Condos
Dismantling the U.S. Postal Service during a pandemic will suppress the voting rights of American voters and is a disgrace to democracy. During any election year, and especially during a pandemic when voters are increasingly turning to mail-in voting as a safe and secure way to exercise their sacred franchise, we rely on the important role the Postal Service performs in our democratic process.
Voters should not need to choose between their health and their right to vote. Voting is the very bedrock of democracy so this blatant attempt by the president to block vote by mail cannot, and should not, be tolerated. Congress must take immediate action to rebuke the president’s undemocratic attack by funding the USPS and ensuring that American voters who elect to vote by mail will not have their rights trampled upon.
Way back on April 29, I joined Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman (R) and American Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein to call upon Congress to provide adequate stimulus funding to the USPS in order to avoid cuts or service impacts to American voters during the 2020 election year.
In a joint opinion piece by Wyman and me titled “Our Democracy Depends on a Reliable Postal Service,” we said: “This issue is bigger than any one election, however. It’s about preserving the integrity of our democratic process. If the mail delivery system on which all election officials rely on diminishes, democracy will suffer. Our fair and free elections must prevail through this crisis, and the Postal Service is essential to ensuring that it does.
“This is not a political or partisan issue – voters in red and blue states depend on the Postal Service to participate in our democracy. That’s why we’re calling upon Congress to provide the funding necessary to ensure reliable, dependable delivery of mail through the USPS. Our democracy relies on this critical institution, and secretaries of state need Congress to do its part to ensure the foundation of our elections does not crumble.
“Secretaries of state, election officials, and other leaders must band together to instill confidence in our voters, ensuring our elections are accessible and secure. The moment one of these standards diminishes — in this case, access to the ballot — we jeopardize one of the pillars of our democracy: free and fair elections.
“Too much is at stake if Congress does not act.”
Jim Condos is Vermont’s Secretary of State