If you are queasy about entrusting the U.S. Postal Service with a vastly expanded role in our electoral system in the midst of a crucial election, the following news will exacerbate your nausea. Last Friday, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) followed the lead of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) by endorsing presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Thus far, most objections to increasing the role of the USPS in the election process involve the inevitable logistical problems that will accompany a precipitous expansion of mail-in voting. The addition of overt partisanship among postal workers to inefficiency renders it obvious that the widespread expansion of vote-by-mail is dangerous.
Even if we assume that most postal workers are nonpartisan, there is enormous potential for chaos associated with a wholesale increase in absentee voting. The leadership of the USPS has already warned most states that millions may be disfranchised by late delivery of ballots. The Washington Post reports, “The U.S. Postal Service recently sent detailed letters to 46 states and D.C. warning that it cannot guarantee that all ballots cast by mail for the November election will arrive in time to be counted.” As alarming as such warnings are, they aren’t as perilous as a politicized postal service. Trump voters simply can’t trust their ballots to mail carriers represented by unions that endorse his opponent:
On behalf of nearly 300,000 active and retired letter carriers, we are proud to endorse Vice President Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to lead this country as president and vice president.… The Executive Council’s decision to endorse the Biden/Harris ticket was based on the input of our membership through polling, surveys, responses to our candidate questionnaire.… The decision is also partly informed by what we have seen from the current administration with regard to the Postal Service.