The federal employees Democrats want to play an integral part in their vote-by-mail ploy have endorsed Joe Biden for president.
Calling it “a stark choice,” the union quoted its president while making the announcement earlier in June:
“The Executive Board fully recognizes and respects that our fellow members hold a wide array of political views and that their choices in this election will be a matter of personal conscience. However, the contrast in this presidential race is clear for postal workers,” APWU President Mark Dimondstein said.
“Donald Trump’s policies have made it abundantly clear that he is a serious threat to our decent postal jobs, our unions and to the right of the people to a public Postal Service. Joe Biden has committed to support the Postal Service and its dedicated postal workers. Our union will continue to help build the movement to defend the public Postal Service and win a more just society.”
The union’s endorsement may be concerning to some, given numerous stories of postal employees’ apparent attempts to manipulate elections through their positions in the mail system.
Just this week, a letter carrier in Fort Bend County, Texas, was accused of throwing a box of a sheriff’s campaign mailers into a dumpster.
A business owner said he caught the incident on surveillance video, which allegedly showed a postal worker exit a vehicle with a large box, approach a trash bin behind a gate, then emerge and drive away. A stack of Sheriff Troy Nehls’ fliers were found inside.
“A federal employee, taking this and throwing it in a dumpster,” he said. “Not a good day, not a good day for America. And we really don’t know, has this mail carrier done it before?”
In May, a letter carrier changed the partisan preference from Democrat to Republican on five ballot applications “as a joke,” the Federal Times reported.
Thomas Cooper was accused of altering the requests after picking them up from would-be voters.
In April, hundreds of ballots sent by the village of Fox Point, Wisconsin, went undelivered by the Postal Service.
“The ballots are not stamped undeliverable or anything. They just never got mailed,” village manager Scott Botcher told PBS Wisconsin.
Botcher posted on Twitter a photo of ballots that had been returned to the village hall:
Another box of ballots returned to our Village Hall by the Post Office.
We immediately returned them to our Post Office (again) for remailing and they admitted appeared to be nothing wrong w them. This is what we've been dealing with for most of this election season. @USPS pic.twitter.com/WR2acPieEL
— Scott Botcher (@sbotcher) April 6, 2020
In 2019, the Pima County, Arizona, Republican Party accused postal workers of throwing away mail-in ballots because partisan information was printed on the outside of the envelope.
“The U.S. mail personnel knew what a person’s registration was when they were delivering the mail, and Democrat mail letter carriers tossed those ballots in the garbage,” David Eppiheimer told Arizona Public Media.
The Postal Service denied the allegation.
In 2016, a Berkeley-area mail worker was questioned after allegedly dumping nearly 100 ballot guides into a recycling bin.
But KNTV identified perhaps a far more sinister tactic:
[Scott] Wheeler pulled the guides out of the bin before the recycling truck arrived, brought them to his apartment and called authorities. He says this incident, coupled with another voting snafu the previous week when he was deactivated as a voter because U.S.P.S. thought he no longer lived there, signifies a problem with either the post office or the Alameda County Registrar of Voters.
Alameda County Registrar Tim Dupuis told the news station another voter was suspended “because we received postcard from post office saying they were no longer living there.”
In 2015, a Wisconsin mailman was fired after throwing away political fliers.
The Wisconsin Republican Party sent a mailing on behalf of two candidates, and Rickey Krueger was convicted after throwing 879 into the trash.
Krueger “denied political motives,” and instead blamed “a sore shoulder” and said he “felt overwhelmed by the number of mailings,” according to the Green Bay Press Gazette.
Author: Kyle Olson