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Webb: Don't trust USPS with mail or ballots?

Webb: Don't trust USPS with mail or ballots?
© Greg Nash

The public discussion around mail-in voting is being held incorrectly. It’s not that fraud doesn’t exist and can’t be committed. It’s that we’re focusing on a symptom, not the disease. My Postal Service saga began in 2019. In retrospect, problems may have existed earlier as I more than once thought occasional issues were aberrations.

The core problems are not to be blamed on any singular aspect of the U.S. Postal Service. There have been problems for a long time with equipment, processes, subcontractors and postal workers in the office or out in the field. This is not to say that the post office is completely broken because it performs a vital function on a daily basis. While there are private sector alternatives like FedEx and UPS, let’s be realistic, we cannot replace the postal system entirely.

Here is the brief of my post office problems that you almost do not want to believe possible. Since October 2019, I have not gotten a majority of my mail, but I have received numerous excuses as to why this could have happened.

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A few times in the last month I have been told by different postal employees at a Miami post office that the problems have been only for the last two months because of the new postmaster general. The problem with that response is my problems with the postal service have existed since October  2019.

My retort led to the “let me get my supervisor” response.

At this point, it would be reasonable to expect that there would be some investigation with an explanation or a possible resolution. The supervisor, Ariel, has delivered no resolution. I have his mobile number but no answers. Instead, there were contradictory explanations offered and suddenly some of my mail would show up but not the rest that was sent to me and confirmed by informed delivery notification.

In one case, I did not receive mail for three weeks and was told by my postal carrier two contradictory reasons. The first was that my address was vacant so mail was returned. Problem is when I checked with a few people, including my employer who sent me mail, they have received no return.

The same postal carrier told me on another occasion that my mailbox was full so no mail could be put in and it was returned to the main station. This made no sense since this is a new address that receives no prior mailings and I am one of those people who gets very little, if any, mail at all. Also, communicating with my postal carrier required the help of a manager in my building because my postal carrier spoke only Spanish and seemed unable to communicate in English.

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What is also troubling is that often the missing mail or items would contain payroll information or personal information that could have value to identity thieves. As a result, like many other Americans, I’ve had to lock my credit access with the three major agencies and use an identity guard service.

Noticeably, these issues are not limited to a narrow geographic area. They are widespread across neighborhood boundaries, single family homes, low-rise and high-rise buildings. These problems with the postal service are not localized. I have a national audience on SiriusXM Patriot. Many listeners call and echo their ongoing problems. Some are mail carriers.

A recent Government Executive article addressed the issue of the post office not wanting to issue reports about why delays among other problems have been happening and the data on the nature of the delays. Any time a government agency, for any reason does not want transparency, we should ask questions.

I have questions as anyone would. Is it theft? Is it incompetence? If my postal carrier does not speak English, should I be concerned that she cannot read English properly and deliver my mail? Is it because of who I am, a well-known Black Republican? After all, if two women at the same post office blame a new postmaster general under Trump until I tell them the problem has existed since 2019, who knows? Many questions and no clear answers at the time of writing this article.

My advice to the president and Republicans, make the better argument based on the real issues with the postal system. There are long-running problems and the postal system cannot properly handle the influx of millions of mail pieces. The postal and voting system will be slowed significantly. There will be a percentage of loss which goes against the idea of ensuring that every American citizen’s vote is counted.

My advice to Americans: Vote in person if at all possible. If you must vote absentee, drop off your ballot at a collection point. Vote by mail if no other option exists.

I’m still waiting on a proper postal inspector’s investigation. This is not over.

Webb is host of “The David Webb Show” on SiriusXM Patriot 125, host of “Reality Check with David Webb” on Fox Nation, a Fox News contributor and a frequent television commentator. His column appears twice a month in The Hill.