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Protesters Demonstrate Against Pre-Election Post Office Reforms

Protestors in Lexington took part in a nationwide demonstration on Saturday morning, showing their support for the United States Postal Service and calling for a change in leadership.  Arlo Barnette has details.

About 20 people showed up at the post office on Creative Drive with signs reading “Ride or Die for the Pony Express” and “Save the Post Office and Our Vote.” The rally was organized by Diane Cahill, as part of #SaveThePostOfficeSaturday, a cooperative effort of groups across the country including the NAACP, MoveOn, RuralOrganizing.org, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

Cahill says they are calling on Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to resign in the wake of mail slowdowns. They are also calling on Congress to take action to protect the mail and the upcoming election, which will depend heavily on mail-in ballots due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cahill went on to say that people of color and other disenfranchised groups have always dealt with voter suppression in this country, and now it’s being made worse.

Co-organizer Aaron Viles spoke at the event. He sees a large part of the problem in Senator Mitch McConnell and Mike Duncan, chairman of the USPS Board of Governors. Viles says Duncan’s connections in the GOP have put him in a position to attack the post office as Donald Trump seeks reelection.

Postmaster General DeJoy released a statement last week, saying that the Postal Service is ready to handle whatever volume of election mail it receives this fall, and that “there are some longstanding operational initiatives — efforts that predate my arrival at the Postal Service — that have been raised as areas of concern as the nation prepares to hold an election in the midst of a devastating pandemic. To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded”

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported earlier this month that 23 trailer loads of undelivered mail accumulated outside the post office’s Lexington headquarters due to operational changes, up from the usual 3 or 4.

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