Reports of postal workers hauling away mailboxes have caused widespread concerns among Oregon residents about mail-in voting during the presidential election in November.
Photos have spread across social media showing truck beds stacked with dropbox mailboxes.
The Oregonian reported that the Postal Service confirmed some mailboxes have been removed from neighborhoods in recent weeks. Residents in Eugene and Portland alerted the local newspaper their access to contactless USPS mailing options have become increasingly limited.
Ernie Swanson, spokesperson for the USPS, said that “duplicate” boxes were being removed from regions with multiple collection boxes, saying
“First-class mail volume has declined significantly in the US, especially since the pandemic” and noting how that “translates to less mail in collection boxes”.
Residents said they are losing access for ways to send mail without potentially risking their health amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Jacob Strouckel, a resident of Eugene, told The Oregonian “outbound slits in neighbourhood mailboxes are being locked shut” in an email, writing,
“We are not just losing access to roadside mail dropboxes, but our convenient neighbourhood drop slots.”
This applies to neighborhoods without individual mailboxes, so we are unable to send outbound mail from our area, without finding a roadside mailbox or risking a trip to the post office.”
Trump has also threatened to withhold emergency funding and election assistance from the Postal Service, while discussing his apparent attempts to curb nationwide mail-in voting during the pandemic in an interview with Fox News.
“They want $25 billion — billion — for the post office. Now they need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots
Now, in the meantime, they aren’t getting there. By the way, those are just two items. But if they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting … because they’re not equipped.”
🚨Please share this picture far and wide. Trump is trying to steal the election. He is gutting the USPS to make it difficult for people to vote by mail. Here in Oregon, that’s our only option. This demands attention! @OregonGovBrown pic.twitter.com/JSsmA0FTzY— Mark Ⴟ Delaney (@markdelaneysays) August 9, 2020
(via The Independent)