Given the proximity of the early presidential elections, Hispanic mail carriers comment that the pandemic generated staff failures that affected the “slowness” of shipments in recent months
When we are ten weeks away from the 2020 presidential elections, it is estimated that due to fears of the coronavirus pandemic 70% of the voters participate through vote-by-mail at a time when concerns about the denial of financial assistance to the United States Postal Service (USPS) are also growing. announced directly by President Donald Trump
But when the opposition to injecting funds into a vital service for the country, which is experiencing a budget crisis, is made public, an action interpreted by Democratic sectors as a “Maneuvering” to limit remote voter participation, already in some Postal service offices and routes in New York City they had been facing some difficulties that were exacerbated by COVID-19.
“Luis” a postman of Puerto Rican origin that offers its service on a route from south of the bronx, assures that with 25 years of service in that agency, some cuts were already beginning to be observed but that in his opinion they significantly impacted service to New Yorkers.
“Despite the cut in some benefits, I think we adapted so that there were no big delays. There is a spirit of doing things right, you understand me. But with the coronavirus, everything started to get complicated. Sometimes up to three days accumulated on some routes“The 52-year-old islander told El Diario.
In early March the National Association of Postmen (NALC) announced the death of Rakkhon Kim, a 50-year-old postman from the Bronx, who died of complications related to the coronavirus. It was one of the first deaths recorded in the Big Apple for this virus that severely punished essential workers.
“After that death, several sick people began to fall in our offices. That obviously caused a lot of delays due to the personnel crisis. Even today when the virus is apparently under control in the city, sick people continue to call. If, as the President says, they are not going to give budgetary aid, that will be a disaster“Exclaimed” Luis. “
The federal government intends to make adjustments to the postal service. (Photo: Fernando Martínez)
We do our job
Other Hispanic postal worker, with 12 years as a driver of a unit route in Inwood in Upper Manhattan and who also declined to share his name, said that April and May “were terrible” for the service because dozens of drivers called in sick and that “overflowed some zoning.”
“It has been said for a long time that they want to privatize the mail. Now, they are going to cut the budget with the new big bosses in the agency. This year many activities were mixed that increased the volume of shipments, like the census, primaries, stimulus checks, all in the midst of the public health crisis. Still we do our job, “said the postal worker.
“Be that as it may, vote!”
And regarding the electoral issue and the controversy over the failures in early voting or by mail in New York for the Democratic primary elections last June, Councilor Ydanis Rodríguez, who aspired to a seat in the Congress for the 15th District of The Bronx, stressed that despite “there are many aspects to correct we must continue to encourage the vote ”.
“The New York Board of Elections still has a lot to explain. Hundreds of voters did not receive their ballot But we must focus on the future. We insist that our Hispanic families, in any case, have to participate. It is obvious that President Trump with his authoritarianism he intends to cut the flow of votes against him from states like ours, ”said the Dominican politician.
With the precedent of a primary election in New York, where many described the early voting process as “a disaster”, some political factors have begun to prevent that before the announcements of budget cuts to USPS the service could be “collapsed” in November. That could mean that millions of voters do not have enough time to complete and mail the entire ballot to election officials.
Spokesmen for the Postal Service warned national media that if in some states voters are allowed to request ballots less than a week before the election, there may not be enough time to print the ballot, mail it to the voter, and return it.
“The rhetoric on the integrity of the New York City elections, matches Donald Trump, who would love more than anyone to delegitimize voting by mail, “New York City Councilor Ritchie Torres, who was certified as the Democratic candidate in the 15th district of the Bronx, told the national media six weeks after the primaries were held. on June 23rd.
“They need the mail to work”
He President Trump acknowledged this Thursday that it opposes an important economic stimulus agreement of $ 25 billion to the USPS, pushed by Democrats to take place before the election.
“They need that money to run the post office to receive these millions and millions of ballots. If we do not make a deal, that means that they will not receive the money and that they cannot have the universal vote by mail, “he stated bluntly in an interview with Maria Bartiromo from Fox Business.
The national president had already speculated weeks before voting by mail as a scenario that would facilitate “electoral fraud.”
Democrats including candidate Joe Biden have viewed the president’s comments as proof that he is trying to undermine the path to the November election, by intentionally demoting the Postal Service.
Keys to voting by mail
Through the Vote.org web site you can find out in detail the deadlines to request ballots as well as the deadline for them to have the appropriate USPS seal, to complete the voting process on time. The USPS in some recent releases has made it clear that voters need to understand all the requirements in their constituencies. for the timely delivery of voting ballots in advance.
It is recommended that voters pay for first-class services (“First-Class Mail), or even pay more for a faster service to return your vote-by-mail ballots. First class stamped envelopes take two to five days to reach their destination. It is advised that voters request their absentee ballot as soon as possible, and at least 15 days before the date of the elections.