service to suspend closings due to elections
March 12, 2012
Postal Service announced on Thursday it will suspend the closure of
processing facilities across the country between September and January
interfering with the Nov. 6. elections.
still plans to move ahead with closing about 223 processing facilities
the nation, including the Dayton facility at 1111 E. 5th St. that
officials promised to suspend closures during the election season to
disrupting the delivery and receipt of election-related mail, such as
“Mail is an
increasingly important part of the U.S. election process and we are
in the dependable and timely delivery of election-related mail,” said
Postmaster General and CEO Patrick Donahoe in a prepared statement.
agency’s announcement came after elected officials in Ohio and across
nation voiced concerns about how the postal service’s consolidation
negatively impact mail-in ballots.
service plans to close nine mail processing facilities in Ohio and
their operations into other centers across the state and region.
operations would be transferred to Columbus.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted sent a letter to Donahoe saying that
processing facilities in Ohio would result in mail needing to be
shipped out of
state for processing.
He said he
was concerned about the security of the elections, especially since
absentee ballots would have to be sent out of state both when the
mailed to voters, and when they were filled out and returned to the
board of elections offices.
changes in how mail is processed could have unintended consequences,
specifically when it comes to how Ohio voters’ absentee ballots are
service has a moratorium on closing facilities that ends on May 15.
agreement was meant to give Congress time to enact postal reform
that could help remedy the agency’s budget woes.
Allen, a postal service spokesman, said the agency can begin closures
15, and they can continue until Aug. 31.
“There is a
chance there will be consolidations between May and August, but then in
we will suspend operations because of the elections coming up,” he said.
for Husted said the postal service’s plan addresses Husted’s concerns
Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, supports the decision to halt closures, and he
of the most important services the postal service provides is ensuring
the right to vote absentee.
how disruptive post office closures have been in the past — post
essential services and it is important to maintain high-quality service
Ohioans,” he said.
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