August 18, 2020
FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), who has been pushing for more assistance for United States Postal Service (USPS) workers since April to address the myriad of COVID-19 challenges they face, welcomed today’s announcement by the USPS Postmaster General to reverse his proposed changes that could have negatively impacted postal operations.
“I am grateful that the Postmaster General has reversed course on the proposed changes. And while I am glad for the postponement, we still need and I continue to support increased funding to help stabilize the Postal Service and ensure it can properly process the surge of ballots expected this fall.”
Smith noted that in New Jersey, the July primary was conducted mainly through the vote-by-mail process (VBM), as will the general election–even though county clerks, county governing bodies, and the post office have expressed serious concerns about a November VBM.
“I share those concerns but we must be committed and determined to protect the integrity of the voting process,” he said. “During the COVID-19 restrictions we are living under, if we are going to have a secure, vote-by-mail election, our Nation needs a robust and healthy United States Postal Service.
“For months I have been pressing postal officials and congressional leadership for added support and an appropriation of at least $25 billion for the Postal Service to alleviate some of the strain and help us meet the new demands, including the expected influx of ballots. We must provide the funding and equipment needed to allow postal workers to do their jobs, and that includes processing voters’ ballots.
“Putting the brakes on this ill-conceived plan was a good decision, but we have to do more. In the midst of the pandemic the Postal Service has proven again to be a steadfast presence in our neighborhoods, delivering medicines, checks, food items and more.
“I continue to believe we must not shortchange USPS operations and must work together to ensure that the USPS, and the brave men and women on the frontlines of postal operations, are fully supported in their work which is fundamental to our economy and democracy.”