Once Above the Fray, the Postal Service Enters It

In the pandemic era, the U.S. Postal Service has transitioned from a bipartisan darling to a political flashpoint.

A Pew study published in April showed USPS had the most favorable rating of any federal agency at 91% favorability. It also had the most even partisan split with an equal number of Republicans and Democrats viewing it favorably.

But since the pandemic began, USPS has been hemorrhaging billions in revenue as the amount of mail it handles has been sharply reduced. Under the direction of the newly appointed postmaster general, Trump campaign megadonor Louis DeJoy, USPS has begun enforcing cutbacks that appear to have led to slower and less reliable service.

But with COVID restrictions curbing large gatherings and imperiling in-person voting, the pressure has mounted on the Postal Service to deliver a safe and fair election.

For months, President Trump has tried to undermine the integrity of mail-in voting despite requesting mail-in ballots for himself and the First Lady just last week.

And in an interview last week with Fox Business Network, Trump said he opposes a $25 billion emergency support fund for USPS, as well as a Democratic proposal to provide $3.6 billion in additional election security measures. But he suggested the funding could feature in a larger negotiation over a new round of stimulus funding.

With half of surveyed US adults believing the USPS is underfunded and only one-fifth believing the service is funded the correct amount, concern over timely delivery of ballots— and in turn, a fair election process— is only growing.