Following accusations

“Oh you don’t want us to remove mail boxes just before an election in which people will have to vote by mail?”

The US Postal Service will stop taking letter collection boxes off streets in Western states following accusations the removals would further limit some voters ability to send back mail-in ballots.

“Accusations.” Yes, obstacles are obstacles – who knew?! If you remove mail boxes that means people in the area from which a box was removed will have farther to go to mail their ballots. That is called an obstacle. Ob-stuh-kl. It’s an impediment, a hindrance, an added difficulty.

The change came after CNN and others reported on Friday that the US Postal Service has started reducing post office operating hours across several states and removing letter collection boxes, according to union officials.

I didn’t know about the reduced hours.

In a statement Friday night, Rod Spurgeon — a USPS spokesperson for the service’s the Western region — told CNN that the service will stop the removal of letter collection boxes in 16 states and parts of two others until after the election.

That means, according to Spurgeon, the USPS will stop collecting the letter collection boxes only in: Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Iowa, Alaska, Nebraska and small parts of Wisconsin and Missouri.

Ok what about the other 34 states? The USPS isn’t saying.

Officials say that in the last week the USPS has removed letter collection boxes in at least four states: New York, Oregon, Montana and Indiana. The USPS has also begun notifying postal workers in at least three states — West Virginia, Florida and Missouri — that they will start to reduce their retail operating hours, according to union officials.

The USPS has received intense scrutiny in recent weeks as many Americans are expected to vote by mail this presidential election due to the coronavirus pandemic. Despite assuring the public earlier this month that it would be able to handle the added volume of mail-in ballots, the postal service sent letters to multiple states warning them that slowdowns in delivery could cause ballots to show up late and not be counted.

Trump has frequently attacked the postal service, and Louis DeJoy, the newly installed postmaster general, has made sweeping changes to the public service, such as rolling back overtime, leading to service slowdowns. Union officials have consistently warned that new cost-cutting measures put into effect by DeJoy and USPS leadership could have a negative effect on the service’s ability to deliver election-related mail on time.

Could have a negative effect? You mean, would obviously kneecap.

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