Schumer Floor Remarks Laying Out Postmaster General DeJoy’s Attempt To Triple The Cost Of Mail-In Voting Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

August 11, 2020

Washington, D.C.—Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke and laid out the Postmaster General DeJoy’s attempt to triple the cost of mail-in voting amid coronavirus pandemic. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Millions of Americans rely on the U.S. Postal Service to deliver their mail reliably and on time. And for decades, the hardworking people of the Postal Service have been doing just  that. During this pandemic, the USPS has been providing these critical services day in and day out. Up until the new Postmaster General, Mr. DeJoy, a top Republican donor and Trump ally with no experience in the postal service was installed at the helm.

Administering a national election is difficult even in normal times. In the time of COVID-19, it will undoubtedly be an even greater challenge. We need to institute policies and devote resources to make sure that every American can vote, safely and confidently, in person and by mail. And, by the way, even just as important, we need to make sure Americans get their medicines on time, that the elderly and those with preexisting conditions—who are staying in their homes and not going out—are able to get the necessities by the mail. Your pills are a week late, I know what that's like, it's happened to me. Fortunately I don't have medicines that my life depends on. It causes you huge anxiety about your health. And this Postmaster is cutting overtime, cutting employees when at a time of COVID we need more help, not less. But elections should certainly concern Americans as well.

So the current issues at the Post Office alarm every American. The new Postmaster General has instituted policies that have contributed to inexcusable delays in mail delivery. But now, topping the cake, the Postal Service has informed some states that they may need to pay a first-class rate to deliver ballots rather than the normal rate—nearly tripling the cost.

At a time when people will have to vote by mail in record numbers because they can't or won't go vote in person, the Postmaster General is saying we should triple the rate of cost to vote by mail? What a despicable derogation of democracy. What is his rationale? A small amount of money. Ballots are a small percentage of the mail that's delivered. It's to discourage people from voting. He ought to be ashamed of himself to even consider this, tripling—tripling—what it costs to vote by mail at a time when more people will vote by mail than ever before.

If anyone had any thought that this Postmaster General was on the level, it's now dispensed.

To triple the cost of voting by mail would be an outrageous and insidious policy that would make it even harder and more expensive for states, already struggling with depleted budgets from COVID-19, to conduct our elections safely.

Democrats will fight this policy with every tool at our disposal. If our Republican colleagues care about a free and fair election this November, they should as well.