NATIONAL NEWS

Amid Criticism, USPS Will Stop Removing Collection Boxes For 90 Days

Aug 16, 2020, 12:26 PM
United States Postal Service trucks are parked at a postal facility on August 15, 2019 in Chicago. ...
United States Postal Service trucks are parked at a postal facility on August 15, 2019 in Chicago. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Sunday that the US Postal Service will not dismantle any mail-sorting machines between now and Election Day. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The United States Postal Service announced Sunday it would stop removing postal collection boxes through late November following complaints about how some had been taken away, meaning there will be no change in the boxes’ locations until after Election Day.

USPS had faced heavy criticism for the removals as there is expected to be a large surge of people mailing in their ballots instead of going to polls in this presidential election.

“Given the recent customer concerns the Postal Service will postpone removing boxes for a period of 90 days while we evaluate our customers concerns,” USPS spokeswoman Kim Frum said in a statement to CNN.

Frum said USPS annually reviews how much various boxes are used to “identify redundant/seldom used collection boxes as first-class mail volume continues” to decline.

“Based on the density testing, boxes are identified for potential removal and notices are placed on boxes to give customers an opportunity to comment before the removal decision is made. This process is one of the many ways the Postal Services makes adjustments to our infrastructure to match our resources to declining mail volumes,” Frum also said in the statement.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said earlier Sunday that USPS will not dismantle any mail-sorting machines between now and Election Day.

“Sorting machines between now and Election Day will not be taken off line,” Meadows told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”

Chris Bentley, president of the National Postal Mail Handlers Union Local 297, which covers Kansas and part of Missouri, previously told CNN that postal management had already taken out four machines in Kansas City, two machines in Springfield, Missouri, and one machine in Wichita, Kansas.

Meadows told CNN that was not part of a new initiative but was part of a pre-planned reallocation.

Documents obtained by CNN last week indicated 671 machines used to organize letters or other pieces of mail are slated for “reduction” in dozens of cities this year.

The USPS’s own document called the move a “reduction” of equipment.

A letter sent Wednesday from the National Postal Mail Handlers Union to the Postal Service headquarters asked, “Why are these machines being removed?”

On Friday, the postal service, which is mired in longstanding funding problems, warned nearly all 50 states and Washington, DC, that mail-in ballots may not be received by election offices in time to be counted.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s administration has slowed delivery, removed high-speed letter sorters from commission and issued a stark warning to election officials that mail-in ballots will no longer automatically be moved as priority mail. On top of that, the USPS has started reducing post office operating hours across several states, cut overtime for postal workers and removed some of their iconic blue letter collection boxes.

In the wake of what DeJoy is calling a “restructuring,” the agency’s inspector general is now reviewing these policy changes. Democrats are amping up demands that DeJoy rescind his changes and get the agency ready for the flood of mail-in ballots necessitated by the pandemic.

House Democrats said Sunday they are “ramping up” their investigation of the USPS and as Democratic leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, called on DeJoy and Chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors Robert Duncan to testify.

The leaders said in a statement that they want the officials to appear at a hearing on August 24 to discuss what they call “recent, sweeping and dangerous operational changes at the Postal Service that are slowing the mail and jeopardizing the integrity of the election.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

Cecily Aguilar pleaded guilty to being involved in covering up the death of Army Spc. Vanessa Guill...
Joe Sutton, Matt Phillips and Amir Vera, CNN

Cecily Aguilar pleads guilty in connection with death of Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen

Cecily Aguilar, who was arrested in 2020 in connection with the disappearance of Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen, pleaded guilty Tuesday to being involved in the cover-up of her death, according to CNN affiliate KWTX and an attorney for Guillen's family.
23 hours ago
The download page for ByteDance Ltd.'s TikTok app is arranged for a photograph on a smartphone in S...
Stella Chan and Leslie Perrot, CNN

South Dakota governor bans state employees from using TikTok on government devices

South Dakota's governor signed an executive order on Tuesday banning state agencies, employees and contractors from accessing TikTok on government devices
23 hours ago
Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West attend the WSJ. Magazine 2019 Innovator Awards sponsored by Harr...
ANDREW DALTON, AP Entertainment Writer

Kim Kardashian and Ye settle divorce, averting custody trial

Kim Kardashian and Ye have reached a settlement in their divorce, averting a trial that had been set for next month.
23 hours ago
Kilauea volcano...
Amir Vera, Holly Yan and Elizabeth Wolfe, CNN

2 new lava flows cascade down Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano

The rare sight of two neighboring volcanoes erupting simultaneously became even more astounding Tuesday as new lava flows gushed down slopes on Hawaii's Big Island.
23 hours ago
[File] Pride Flag...
MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press

Landmark same-sex marriage bill wins Senate passage

The Senate has passed bipartisan legislation to protect same-sex marriages.
23 hours ago
Stewart Rhodes in October 2022 in federal court. (Bill Hennessy)...
LINDSAY WHITEHURST, ALANNA DURKIN RICHER and MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press

Oath Keepers boss guilty of seditious conspiracy in 1/6 case

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes has been convicted of seditious conspiracy for a violent plot to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential win.
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Amid Criticism, USPS Will Stop Removing Collection Boxes For 90 Days