Aug 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Postal Service forms oversight panel for mail-in voting


Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The U.S. Postal Service's governing board is developing a bipartisan Election Mail Committee to oversee mail-in voting processes amid scrutiny over the Trump administration's attempts to thwart mail-in ballots in this November's general election.

The big picture: Social distancing brought on by the pandemic is expected to spur a surge in mail-in voting this election cycle. But President Trump has vowed to block pandemic stimulus funds for mail-in voting and USPS. The president claims voting by mail is susceptible to fraud — contradicting the longstanding history and widespread use of the practice.

  • The USPS Board of Governors says the panel "will use its oversight role to reinforce the strong commitment of the Postal Service to the mail as an important part of the nation’s democratic process, and will regularly monitor execution of USPS’s work on election mail to ensure that our part of this election process is implemented in the most effective way possible."
  • Mail-in ballots are expected to account for under 2% of total mail volume from mid-September to November 3, per the board. But the pandemic could pose unexpected challenges.

The announcement comes after Postmaster General Louis DeJoy drew criticism for proposed changes to USPS that would limit service and operating hours. He announced this week that he will be halting the changes.

  • DeJoy testified before the Senate on Friday, stating, "The Postal Service is fully capable and committed to delivering the nation’s election mail fully and on time."

What to watch: The House is set to vote on $25 billion in aid for USPS on Saturday.

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