With Congress debating plans to shut down post offices and possibly eliminate Saturday mail delivery, some election officials are worried that bringing the U.S. Postal Service out of the red could harm election procedures — perhaps even in time for the November 2012 presidential election.
In November the Postal Service announced it lost $5.1 billion in fiscal 2011, not including the mandated $5.5 billion owed to the federal government to prefund retiree health benefit payments. For the service to return to profitability, it must cut $20 billion by 2015.
Senate legislation would protect Saturday service for the next two years, but a House bill would permit a reduction to five-day-per-week mail delivery six months after enactment. The Postal Service has said it intends to cut Saturday service unless Congress requires it to continue.
Steve Monteith, the Postal Service’s manager of transaction correspondence, said taking away Saturday delivery or shutting post office doors could force election officials to send ballots out a day earlier to make sure they arrive on time.
California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, co-sponsored the House bill. The service’s financial losses, he said, put elections at risk.
“Fundamental reforms are needed to protect the financial viability of the United States Postal Service, including its services that are integral to voting,” Issa said.
Full Article: Postal Service | Elections | Budget Cuts | The Daily Caller.