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Klobuchar, Smith and Minnesota secretary of state speak out against recent USPS policy changes

Rebecca Omastiak
Updated: August 25, 2020 11:19 AM
Created: August 25, 2020 07:50 AM

Tuesday, U.S. senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, as well as Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, spoke out on the need for the U.S. Postal Service.

They discussed not only the importance of the USPS during the upcoming November election, but also for everyday needs, including for medicine, paychecks, social security checks, and more.

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Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who faces intense scrutiny over sweeping USPS policy changes, appeared before a House committee Monday, saying he has "spoken to people that are friends of mine that are associated with the campaign" that President Donald Trump's repeated attacks on the legitimacy of mail-in ballots are "not helpful," but denied that recent changes at the Postal Service are linked to the November elections.

Postal leader defends changes, denies 'sabotaging' election

Last week, Klobuchar, Smith and others sent a letter to the USPS Board of Governors, asking the board to immediately use its authority to reverse changes to postal service operations and mail service delays put in place by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. 

"He literally wreaked havoc, made those changes without talking to the people that do the work, came in there new, did all that, now says he is not going to do any more of those things, but he is not reversing any of the changes that he made early on," Klobuchar said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Minnesotans throughout the state have expressed concerns about mail delays and some small business owners report being concerned about how those delays are affecting their business, already facing challenges in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response, Klobuchar sent a letter to the Small Business Administration, urging it to address recent shipping delays and to take action to assist small businesses facing these delays.

Smith, meanwhile, pressed the USPS Inspector General to launch an investigation into recent USPS changes and how that affects mail delivery in Minnesota and throughout the U.S.

"In a moment where we are facing a global pandemic and an economic crisis caused by that pandemic, we should not be undermining the United States postal service, we should be shoring it up," Smith said Tuesday.

Klobuchar also recently sent a letter to state election officials requesting information on how delays could affect election mail. Tuesday, Simon said despite recent headlines, there are efforts in place to ensure election mail makes it on time.

"I have been asked several times by several people, 'Do you still feel that way, are you still counseling and urging Minnesotans to vote by mail, vote from home?,'" Simon said. "And answer is absolutely, yes."

Simon said those choosing to vote by mail should request their ballots as soon as possible and mail them in as soon as they know for whom they're voting in the upcoming general election.

Learn more about voting by mail here.


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