The United States Postal Service is crucial in ensuring that US Citizens have the ability to exercise their right to vote, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dwindling numbers of available poll workers have led to a significant decrease in the number of polling booths. Leaders across the country are struggling to grapple with balancing both the safety and constitutional rights of their constituents. In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott is not requiring voters to wear masks for fear of a constitutional violation, causing poll workers to quit in fear of contracting the virus from those who refuse to wear or do not have access to masks. Many at-risk members of society have deferred to using mail-in-voting instead of physically showing up and risking their health. The right to vote is a cornerstone of our democracy, and so with polls becoming unsafe, mail in ballots are necessary to ensure a fair election, making the protection and continued funding of the USPS more important than ever.
Corruption is rampant in American politics. President Trump has seized the public’s fear of voter fraud and utilized it to run a campaign to dismantle the USPS in favor of private delivery services, attacking Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. Despite Trump’s claims that “we have to have an honest election,” his refusal to direct money to the USPS on baseless grounds will result in a unilateral decrease in total votes cast. Terrified of the prospect of losing this election, he has made the nonsensical decision to attack the mail service, a government agency with a 90% approval rating. The importance of the USPS is not to be discounted — it is the only mail service that delivers to every address in the United States. The USPS is necessary for democracy and deserves adequate funding to fully operate for the American people.
However, not all hope is lost! Although the individual’s power is small, the collective has the ability to work for equity in the United States voting system. Immediate action can be taken to preserve voters’ rights, such as volunteering at polling places, sending out postcards to encourage voting in swing states (through the organization Postcards to Voters), and for those eligible, voting and encouraging friends to vote early.