Call on Congress to provide resources to ensure timely delivery of ballots by post office
BOSTON – House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) and State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) are part of a bipartisan effort calling on Congress to provide the U.S. Postal Service with the resources needed to ensure that ballots cast by mail for the fall election will be delivered to city and town clerks in time to be counted.
Jones, along with House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop), co-authored a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging Congress “to take immediate steps to support the operations of the United States Postal Service and to ensure the safe and timely delivery of mail-in ballots for the November 2020 election.” The letter was signed by 141 members of the House of Representatives, including Representative Haggerty, with copies of the letter mailed to all 11 members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation.
“The right to vote is a cornerstone of our democracy that must be protected,” said Jones. “The legislature embraced a variety of expanded opportunities to vote this election cycle in response to the COVID-19 crisis, a central piece of which is an expanded use of the mail. As such, it is imperative that we be able to rely on a safe and efficient USPS to ensure everyone feels empowered to participate in the way that most safely suits their situation. Adequate funding and focus on timely delivery of ballots is essential.”
“I strongly support our postal service and the incredible work of its employees,” said Haggerty. “Due to our genuine effort to protect public health and our expansion of vote-by-mail it is more important than ever to make sure the postal service has the tools it needs to deliver for the American people. This is not a partisan issue but rather a moment where we must come together to support the postal service and the critical role it plays in the everyday lives of every American, every American business, and every American’s right to vote.”
Jones said the letter was sent after the U.S. Postmaster General informed Massachusetts and 45 other states, as well as the District of Columbia, that the post office could not guarantee all mail-in ballots for the November election would be delivered in time to be counted. In their letter, lawmakers called this announcement “completely unacceptable, as it would effectively disenfranchise a significant number of American voters.”
The Postmaster General later announced a temporary delay in the implementation of certain planned organizational changes until after the November election. “It is critically important that Congress take steps now to ensure the Postal Service has the resources it needs to continue to deliver mail in a safe and timely fashion, particularly for the November election,” legislators wrote. “All voters deserve the opportunity to safely cast a ballot by mail this fall, and they should be able to do so with assurances that their ballot will actually be delivered in time for their vote to count.”