Consider a humble drop box.
In the not too distant past, we were more likely to take curated funds for granted in our lifetimes. We made regular visits to Blockbuster to hand over our rented movie videos for the weekend. We’ve made more trips to book return boxes in libraries in those days before we had access to e-books.
We also drop significantly fewer letters and documents into U.S. Postal Service collection boxes. This trend, of course, has been going on for years and has prompted USPS to reduce the number of these collection points as a result.
Although many of us were generally aware that there were fewer mailboxes now, this decline did not become a political flashpoint until recently.
Controversy to vote mailed
With the spread of the Coronavirus, there has been a sweeping step to expand voting options by mail so that people do not have to risk their health by voting at traditional polling sites.
However, President Trump is a strong opponent of voting by mail because he believes he favors Democrats and Hurts Republicans. In June, Louis Deguy appointed one of his staunch supporters and fundraisers, to be the new Director General of Post. So the following month when DeJoy announced a series of cost-cutting measures including the ongoing removal of mailboxes, which slowed delivery times, the timing seemed inauspicious.
Several states had already put in place liberal mail voting procedures for the primaries, and some had struggled with handling the mail itself. in a WisconsinFor example, thousands of people who applied for ballot papers never received them by the deadline, and thousands of ballots were mailed out too late.
This may be enough to prompt clearly-minded people to think of ways to improve voting by mail and see a much larger role for dropboxes – in this case, Polling Drop boxes. But that was before the greater urgency of August 14, when the news broke about the postal service 46 countries reported He cannot guarantee that all votes mailed to the general elections on November 3 will arrive in time for them to be counted.
The result was an uproar, fueled in large part by doubts that the cost-cutting moves (such as more collection box removals) by DeJoy are part of an infamous plan by his friend President Donald Trump to further elude the mail vote.
The protest was strong enough to prompt the USPS to pledge to halt planned mailbox removals until after the election. Still, while Trump Lacks unilateral strength To cancel USPS funding, it has made it clear that it will pursue every method of mail voting.
Drop Boxes Argument
Therefore, there is a strong drive for supporters of mail-order voting to do everything they can to get all the mailed ballots properly in November.
Therefore, the humble drop box looms large in the minds of many people.
A recent USPS letter recommended to states that regardless of state rules, they must inform voters to obtain their ballots by mail by October 27, one week before the election.
But what if that wasn’t enough? Why not do everything to eliminate the dependence on the postal service to get ballot papers at election offices on time?
Why don’t you install a lot of hanging boxes?
After all, this is what the countries that held universal suffrage by mail did. Colorado, which switched to the global vote by mail in 2013, has made Extensive use of drop boxes From the start he did not find any problems. Colorado law, by the way, requires boxes to be kept under video surveillance 24 hours a day in adequate lighting and to be emptied at least every 24 hours by election judges.
By early August, most states where voting by mail is permitted have begun (34 plus the District of Columbia) Installing drop-down boxes. Many are located adjacent to polling sites, while others are placed to increase access to voters.
over there Companies specializing in the manufacture of outstanding funds, And they claim to be safe. Election officials say these sites will be monitored closely.
But opponents of voting by mail – and thus, drop boxes – disagree. In Pennsylvania, the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee I filed a lawsuit To stop the use of drop funds on the grounds that the state did not properly monitor the funds to ensure they were not vulnerable to fraud.
On August 12, Republican Ohio State Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced that he would do so No county is allowed to submit more than one drop box. With around 6 million eligible voters in 88 counties in Ohio, this comes down to one drop box for every 68,000 people, far more than the 15,000 to 20,000 recommended. United States Electoral Assistance Committee.
In Tennessee, Republican Secretary of State Trey Hargit said His state does not allow for dropping of funds Ballot papers due to concerns that people would not necessarily present their ballot papers as they would at a polling place. He suggested that people offer to choose the ballot papers and simply dispose of them.
Congress is seeking answers
Dropboxes, of course, are just one piece in the larger response to how the country intends to hold fair elections while keeping everyone safe during the pandemic. Much will depend on the postal service operating at maximum efficiency throughout the election season. To that end, the House Oversight Committee scheduled a hearing for August 24 and called on DeJoy and USPS Chairman of the Board of Governors Robert M. Duncan to testify.
Meanwhile, Trump was Return to the course of the war On the morning of August 17th, this time he focused his anger straight on the hanging funds.
He wrote on Twitter: “Some states use ‘ballot boxes’ to collect ballot papers via international mail. So who will ‘collect’ ballot papers, and what can be done for them before scheduling? Fake elections? Bad for our country. Only absentee ballots are acceptable!”
The answer to Trump’s question: Ballot papers are collected by the same election officials who collect ballot papers at polling stations.
Chances are, it won’t calm him down. Chances are, we’ll hear a lot about voting by mail, the U.S. Postal Service, and yes, the humble Mailbox between now and November 3 and beyond.