NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — House Democrats are pushing for legislation that would fund the U.S. Postal Service in hopes of ensuring all mail-in votes will be delivered on time, and counted in the 2020 election.
“There’s no question,” Rep. Steve Womack said. “The postal service has been hemorrhaging money for a long time.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pushing for a $25 billion bill that aims to help USPS get out of debt, and maintain necessary mail services.
This, after the agency warned that mail-in votes could be impacted by slow delivery service.
“It is sad that the speaker is going to politicize the postal service at this time in the 2020 election,” said Rep. Womack.
U.S Representative Steve Womack’s democratic opponent in the third congressional district, Celeste Williams, said funding USPS isn’t political, but a necessity to having a fair election.
“Just because we’re in a global pandemic that’s caused an economic and voting crisis, that doesn’t mean we stop having a democracy,” Williams said, “So, we’ll continue to have our elections and it’s really important that we find the best way for everyone to participate.”
As a registered nurse practitioner, Williams worries the lack of postal services will effect far more than just the election.
“A lot of seniors and veterans rely on mail order prescription delivery, and so it’s also important that people get their normal medication in a timely fashion,” she said.
Michael Kalagias, the libertarian candidate for the U.S. House seat, said he understands the uneasiness of mail-in voting all too well.
“I remember when I was casting ballots in the Navy that my vote was never going to count,” he said.
He said whether you choose to vote in-person or by mail, casting your ballot gives you control over who leads your community, and your country.
“The more people you have participating in the process, the more people people are concerned with what’s going on, the less shenanigans congress can get away with, the president can get away with,” Kalagias siad.
Some of the services at risk of being dropped if USPS doesn’t get funding is high-speed sorting machines and prioritizing election mail.