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Postmaster General DeJoy: Postal Service "fully capable" of delivering election mail on time

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Washington — Postmaster General Louis DeJoy assured Congress Friday that the U.S. Postal Service will be able to process the nation's mail-in ballots in November."As we head into the election season, I want to assure this committee, and the American public, that the Postal Service is fully capable of delivering the nation's election mail securely and on time," DeJoy said.DeJoy, who has been at the center of controversy over cost-cutting changes to the Postal Service that led to concerns about the ability to handle mail-in ballots for the November election, testified Friday before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.The major Republican donor and close ally of President Trump appeared before the Republican-led panel to answer questions about the mail agency's finances and operations during the coronavirus pandemic, which has exacerbated the Postal Service's fiscal woes, and the upcoming general election.After he was installed as the postmaster general in June he implemented a series of operational changes designed to save the struggling Postal Service money, curtailing overtime and prohibiting postal workers from making extra trips for late-arriving mail. Under his oversight of the agency, there have also been reports of blue mail collection boxes being removed and a reduction in large mail-sorting machines.The shifts led to a slowdown in mail delivery.DeJoy said Friday he is "extremely highly confident" the Postal Service will be able to ensure that mailed ballots sent seven days before Election Day will be processed and counted. He also expressed support for mail-in voting, telling senators, "I think the American public should be able to vote by mail, and the Postal Service will support it." That said, in response to questions about letters sent by the Postal Service to 46 states and the District of Columbia warning that mail-in ballots may not be processed in time to be counted, DeJoy said the problem was with state deadlines for sending election mail. He also said he never spoken to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin or White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about changes to service.After a brief struggle with technical issues that resulted in some profanity over a hot mic, Senator Tom Carper, a Democrat from Delaware, questioned DeJoy about a Washington Post report published Thursday that said he planned major changes to the Postal Service for after the election that would raise package rates, charge more for service in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, and require first-class postage for ballots.Carper asked DeJoy, "Yes or no: Are you considering the dramatic service changes which I just outlined, which we just learned about in the last 48 hours?""We're considering dramatic changes to improve service to the American people," DeJoy responded. "As we head into the election season, I want to assure this committee, and the American public, that the Postal Service is fully capable of delivering the nation's election mail securely and on time," DeJoy said.

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