Despite all the advances in information technology, the United States Postal Service (USPS) remains a vital, tried-and-true means of transporting necessary mail, packages, and other items that help maintain a positive standard of living, carry out business, and exchange information.
For the millions of U.S. residents with limited technological and logistical capacity, the USPS serves as a virtual lifeline for people to receive paychecks, prescription drugs, and, yes, ballots to cast their votes for government representatives at the local, state and federal levels of government. Voting is a sacred right for every citizen. With the present public health pandemic posed by the novel coronavirus and the disease that it causes, Covid-19, there are several risks involved with requiring people to leave their homes and go to public, mostly indoor, facilities to cast votes.
Given this reality, and the expected high levels of participation in a presidential election, Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA) urges the federal government to adequately support the USPS to help facilitate timely delivery of ballots and mitigate any other obstacles that could possibly discourage voting participation via mail. We were glad to see the announcement over the weekend that the USPS will hold off on the scheduled removal of particular mailboxes throughout the country for 90 days. Still, we are concerned about, among other things, federal funds being held up and the reported removal of hundreds of mail-sorting machines from mail processing facilities, including one in the swing state of Pennsylvania. Other hotly contested states that will prove pivotal in determining the presidency have experienced problems.
Again, IRUSA calls upon the federal government to lift all perceived and actual impediments to mail-in voting, as it is a longtime, reliable alternative to in-person voting. During a public health emergency, it’s the very least that taxpayers can expect from their government.