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From left, Reps. Donald Norcross, Andy Kim and Mikie Sherrill. Photo by Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe.

Democratic House members press DeJoy on mail delays

New USPS policy blocking overtime lead to delays of up to 10 days

By Nikita Biryukov, August 05 2020 2:07 pm

All 10 of New Jersey’s Democratic House members pressed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on new policies that have seen some New Jerseyans’ mail delayed by more than a week Wednesday.

“Many of our constituents have rightly contacted our offices to express frustration and concern about ongoing mail delivery delays, some of whom have not received their medications and first-class mail for more than three days,” they said in a letter led by Rep. Andy Kim (D-Marlton). “While we understand the serious and ongoing financial challenges facing the USPS, we are gravely concerned that operational decisions that knowingly cause the USPS to fail to meet its own service delivery standards could cause catastrophic harm to people all over New Jersey and the country.”

In early July, the U.S. Postal Service adopted new policies that barred mail carriers from taking overtime. Under the new rules, any mail that was not delivered by the end of a shift would be held until the following days.

Over the last month, the new policy has led to increasingly-longer delays, prompting worries about how the rules would affect the delivery of mail-in ballots and other political mail.

“We are concerned that these service delivery delays, if allowed to continue, could have a devastating impact upon the upcoming election, and the delivery of census forms, tax refunds and social security checks,” the members said. “As you know, many states, including New Jersey, have relied more heavily upon vote-by-mail options during the COVID-19 crisis. We cannot allow the failure to meet service delivery standards to impact the validity of a single voter’s ballot, let alone the outcome of an election.”

The Democrats want to know why New Jerseyans have had their mail delayed, what measures USPS has taken to ensure ballots are delivered in a timely fashion and what immediate steps USPS was taking to “increase operational efficiency.”

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