FILE PHOTO: U.S. postal workers load their trucks with mail for delivery from their postal station in Carlsbad, California February 6, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

The U.S. Postal Service on Friday unveiled a massive overhaul of its leadership structure, heightening tensions over the agency’s dire financial situation and highlighting the partisan fight over mail-in voting ahead of November’s general election.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy displaced or reassigned 23 postal executives in a reorganization meant to cut costs and boost revenue. The agency also began a management hiring freeze and will request volunteers for early retirements. The restructuring comes as congressional Democrats demand an investigation of DeJoy, who is a Republican campaign donor with no previous experience with the USPS. They assert that his new cost-cutting efforts prompted service delays and a backlog of mail-in ballots for some primary elections. Some say that U.S. President Donald Trump is seeking to sabotage the agency in an effort to reduce mail-in voting, which he claims will result in “inevitable” voter fraud. 

The USPS on Friday also reported a $2.2 billion loss from April through June, amplifying financial woes from before the pandemic. “Without dramatic change, there is no end in sight,″ DeJoy told the postal board of governors. Even so, the agency in a statement early last week said it has “ample capacity” to meet the projected election and political mail volume this fall.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

Could USPS Leadership Overhaul Be Part of Trump’s Push to Impair Mail-in Voting? – New York Magazine – 8/9/2020
While Trump has been decrying the Postal Service for years, the timing of the changes is cause for alarm, considering the president’s false inflation of the threat of mail-in voter fraud in an election that will be reliant on mail-in ballots. With a political donor running the post office — a rarity for an agency historically run by USPS lifers — Trump now appears ready and willing to slow 

Fact check: Voters should request ballots 2 weeks early, but mail isn’t intentionally slow – USA Today – 8/10/2020
The claim is echoed across social media, with some users accusing President Donald Trump of having USPS slow its deliveries, and others implicating the new USPS postmaster general. […] A USPS spokeswoman said that isn’t the case. “We are not slowing down election mail or any other mail,” Marti Johnson with USPS told USA TODAY. “Instead, we continue to employ a robust and proven process to ensure proper handling of all election mail consistent with our standards.”

What’s happening with the USPS? Here’s the deal with its shakeup before the surge of mail-in ballots – Fast Company – 8/10/2020
If the changes make the USPS more inefficient, which critics worry it will, it could mean mail-in voting could be delayed–which could affect the outcome of the election this fall. Earlier this year, DeJoy took other steps under the guise of cost-cutting measures, including prohibiting overtime, which critics fear will weaken the USPS’s ability to deal with the surge in mail-in voting expected for November’s upcoming elections.

The Postal Service’s Routine Reforms Are Recast as the Latest Plot to Help Trump’s Reelection – National Review – 8/7/2020
The majority of the attacks on the USPS have ignored a damning audit conducted by the Government Accountability Office, which was released in May and detailed the numerous inefficiencies within the agency that have led to its insolvency and poor service.

The Hottest New Label? U.S.P.S. – The New York Times – 8/6/2020
While all the usual accouterments of a postal service are present, so is a mix of unexpected merchandise. The site has everything from screen-printed Marvin Gaye posters to Santa-as-mailman ornaments to 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda muscle toy cars. The runaway hit by far, however, has been a long-sleeve crop top showing a stack of five envelopes in a pleasing rainbow of colors.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

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