Postmaster General Louis DeJoy acknowledged in an internal memo this week that his restructuring plans for the United States Postal Service, which have garnered severe criticism from Democrats, have had “unintended consequences.”
While the changes were necessary, they “impacted our overall service levels,” DeJoy said in the memo that was obtained by CNN.
“However, recent changes are not the only contributing factors,” DeJoy write. “Over the years we have grown undisciplined in our mail and package processing schedules, causing an increase in delayed mail between processing facilities and delivery units.”
DeJoy, a big GOP donor who assumed the role of postmaster general in June, announced at the beginning of the month sweeping organizational changes that saw nearly two dozen postal executives get reassigned or displaced, including the pair of officials in charge of day-to-day operations.
The reduced service capacity of the nation’s mail service has been put in the spotlight recently as the tensions surrounding November’s general elections have increased. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Democratic lawmakers at all levels have pushed for expanded mail-in voting.
Some states such as Oregon and Washington already have robust mail-in voting systems, but many other states require residents to be over a certain age or have a verifiable excuse to vote absentee.
The pandemic has caused numerous states to loosen their mail-in voting requirements, but other states such as Texas have weathered legal challenges from Democrats and remained firm with their requirements.
As Election Day draws closer, Democrats have voiced major concerns over the Postal Service’s ability to handle the influx of mail-in ballots if it doesn’t receive more funding. Congress’s latest coronavirus stimulus proposal includes $25 billion in funding.
After giving remarks early on Thursday that suggested he was opposed to the extra funding to the Postal Service because it would aid Democrats’ mail-in voting efforts, Trump later in the day said that he supported the funding but was still against universal mail-in voting.