Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said that the US Postal Service is not “slowing down” election-related or other mail and will undergo an “organizational realignment” after the agency often criticized by President Donald Trump as a money-losing venture has faced doubts over its capacity to handle anticipated high numbers of mail-in ballots.
“We will do everything we can to deliver election mail in a timely manner consistent with our operational standards,” DeJoy told the Postal Service Board of Governors on Friday.
He added, “Despite any assertions to the contrary, we are not slowing down election mail or any other mail. Instead we continue to employ a robust and proven process to ensure proper handling of all election mail.”
DeJoy acknowledged that “although there will likely be an unprecedented increase in election mail volume due to the pandemic. The Postal Service has ample capacity to deliver all election mail securely and on time, in accordance with our delivery standards, and we will do so.”
The commitment by DeJoy, a longtime Trump ally and fundraiser, echoes the agency’s resolute stance earlier this week that it has the capacity to handle the added volume of mail-in ballots in November’s general election. The President has cast doubt on whether it will be able to handle an election that is expected to see significant numbers of mail-in ballots as the coronavirus pandemic rages on.
“The Post Office for many, many years has been, you know, run in a fashion that hasn’t been great — great workers and everything, but they have old equipment, very old equipment,” Trump said Monday. “And I don’t think the Post Office is prepared for a thing like this. You have to ask the people at the Post Office, but how can the Post Office be expected to handle?”
USPS is also seeing a slowing of mail delivery in some places under DeJoy. The agency has recently implemented new efforts that some workers blame for delivery delays of at least two days across the country — prompting fears that many ballots may not reach election offices in time if the problems aren’t corrected by November.
During his remarks Friday, DeJoy outlined a “dire” financial situation in his opening statement, warning that “without dramatic change, there is no end in sight” of the financial losses.
He referenced an upcoming “organizational realignment” that he said would streamline the USPS, which Trump has frequently slammed and threatened to cut funding.
“We collectively recognize that changes must be made, and for that reason we will implement an organizational realignment that will refocus our business, improve line of sight, enable faster solutions, reduce redundancies and increase accountability,” DeJoy said. “This realignment will strengthen the Postal Service by enabling us to identify new opportunities to generate revenue so that we will have additional financial resources to be able to continue to fulfill our universal service obligation to all of America.”
Vowing to use his 35 years of business experience to deal with the problem, DeJoy said that the agency was “at the beginning of a transformative process,” highlighting how he has “conducted numerous deep-dive meetings” since he took over in June to examine all parts of the business.
DeJoy also stressed that he would not act “based on any partisanship.”
“While I certainly have a good relationship with the President of the United States, the notion that I would ever make decisions concerning the Postal Service at the direction of the President or anyone else in the administration is wholly off-base,” he said.