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Fri Feb 8, 2013, 03:20 PM

Post office cutbacks. More voter Suppression? Perhaps at least in Oregon it is!

And perhaps nationwide as more people try to vote by absentee mail voting as senior citizens, students, those looking to avoid voting by voting machines, etc.

In Oregon where we only have vote by mail, it could affect whether last minute ballots can get processed appropriately if Saturday mail office hours or delivery are affected, as well as a number of offices being closed.

More conjectures on its effects on November elections here...

http://www.oregonlive.com/mapes/index.ssf/2012/01/post_office_cuts_could_slow_or.html

Perhaps now that Oregon has a majority both in the state house and senate here this coming term, we should perhaps have some Oregon laws address this issue to ensure that Oregon's elections are minimally effected by post office changes that are headed our way (perhaps have some alternate delivery mechanisms or provide Oregon postal workers added hours paid for by the state during election time, etc.).

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Reply Post office cutbacks. More voter Suppression? Perhaps at least in Oregon it is! (Original post)
cascadiance Feb 2013 OP
Lionessa Feb 2013 #1
Viva_La_Revolution Feb 2013 #2
Travis_0004 Feb 2013 #3
cascadiance Feb 2013 #5
LWolf Feb 2013 #4

Response to cascadiance (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 03:47 PM

1. I agree they can/should assure that somehow this doesn't effect the vote, but to suggest

 

that voter suppression is in anyway part of the reason for it is ludicrous. I have no doubt Oregon can find a way to resolve any potential issues. And hopefully Oregonians are also smart enough to adapt to the concept.

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Response to cascadiance (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 05:16 PM

2. We never mail ours, we drop them off at the Library drop box. nt

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Response to cascadiance (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 06:19 PM

3. How does the elimination of one day= voter supression?

You are making it sound like the sky is falling, and the post office is closing up shop.

Lets say a ballot would have arrived on saturday. It will now arrive on Monday, 2 days later. Seeing how absentee ballots are mailed well in advance, 2 days doesn't really matter.

Also, if you want to mail a letter, you can put it in a mailbox 7 days a week, and it will still be picked it.

Ballots may have to be mailed out on the thursday before election, instead of the friday, but as long as that is printed on the ballot, and everybody is aware if it, I don't see a problem, just mail the ballots out a day or two earlier, so people still have the same number of days to vote.

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Response to Travis_0004 (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 05:00 PM

5. The GOP has limited last weekend voting in other states in their voter suppression efforts...

As noted in this article...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/18/republican-voter-suppression-early-voting_n_1766172.html


In Ohio and Florida, two of the most critical swing states in this year's presidential election, the GOP early voting rollback specifically included a ban on voting on the Sunday before Election Day.


Probably premature on my part to suggest that these efforts to strangle and cut down the post office by the GOP is focused on voter supression, which it isn't. They certainly have a goal of shutting down the post office with the unorthodox poison pill pension plan burden they shoved on it some years back and their subsequent efforts to continue to keep that burden on them. There are probably many other reasons that they're also after the post office like shutting down one of the largest unions in the country too. But I'm sure that they aren't stupid and they are watching closely how we react to shutting down of weekend office responsibilities of the Post Office. If we don't respond heavily to note that we will draw the line some place, they might make things even worse and at a time close to the election where it might make it hard for a state like Oregon that relies on mail for voting to respond. It's good that the press here as noted in this article at least is observing the potential harm of the current cutbacks so that we can be better able to deal with it and perhaps further cutbacks later.

A lot of voters wait until the absolute last minute to do anything about voting, and Oregon is no exception. Many of us use drop off boxes, including myself, but that doesn't mean in some areas and for some people that is not as much of an option for voters, and the weekends are often the only time when people can get to the post office. There are other things that it does in terms of things like providing ID for people getting passports, etc. too, that if we cut that back, might hurt voter registration later too.

I'm not overly worried at this point, but the point of my post is to make sure that the right notices that this aspect is being noticed, so that they know that we're not going to sit back at a later time if they try to do more extreme measures then.

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Response to cascadiance (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:51 AM

4. I picked up a local paper

from the staff room and browsed an article about this yesterday; I didn't have time to read the whole thing.

It looked like Merkley and Wyden were arguing against Saturday closures. Walden, my house rep, had somebody make a statement for him, supporting Saturday closures as better than the plans to shut down rural post offices.

I want post offices open. I had to leave work the Tuesday after MLK day to stand outside the little rural post office in the little rural town I work in to make sure I was the first person in line to mail something that needed next day delivery and a signature. Being first in line, I was back at work in time to greet students as they arrived. If I'd had to drive all the way to the next town, I would have had to get a sub, which would have cost my school and district a whole bunch of $$$ to make sure I could get something in the mail on time.

Post offices are jobs. If the USPS is having trouble staying solvent, I have no trouble with them raising prices to make sure they are still there.

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