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Election 2024: Your Ballot's in the Mail
Posted On: May 147, 2024

May 23, 2024

Since its founding, A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service has led the charge in advocating for expanded services as a means to save the Post Office, to cement its role in our society, and to fend off efforts to slash postal services.

If you’ve somehow missed the widespread TV ads and lawn signs that have popped up recently, 2024 is a presidential election year. That means one critical expanded postal service is going to be put to the test in the months ahead: Vote-by-Mail.

This year will be a critical one for Vote-by-Mail advocates for a number of reasons. Access to mail-in and early voting has grown significantly in recent years. Advocates of the public Postal Service have an important job to do of assuring voters that the postal system is a safe, secure, and reliable way for them to cast their vote.

There are serious threats to voting rights in general, and to Vote-by-Mail in particular, which are sure to be hallmarks of this year’s political campaigns. Defeating those who would like to see Vote-by-Mail fail is also critical to its long-term success, its contribution to the Postal Service, and to the vibrancy of our democratic institutions.

First, let’s look at how Vote-by-Mail has expanded in recent years. In the 2000 general election, just 21 states allowed for “no-excuse” mail-in voting, representing less than 40 percent of all eligible voters. This year, voters in 36 states and Washington, DC can exercise their right to vote by mailing in their ballot.

But, while Vote-by-Mail has become more accessible for more American voters, serious threats remain to its existence. Perhaps most visibly, one of the two major presidential candidates continues to rail against Vote-by- Mail. After attempting to discredit it as “fraudulent” and calling the Postal Service “a joke” during the 2020 election, former President Trump has continued his assault on mail-in balloting, claiming recently, “any time the mail is involved, you’re going to have cheating.”

Those claims, of course, have been thoroughly discredited. From court cases to academic studies, every serious observer has concluded that voting by mail is one of the safest and most secure methods of casting one’s vote. What’s more, while there’s ample evidence that shows Vote-by-Mail increases overall voter participation, it has also been shown to have no meaningful benefit to one political party over another.

If the damaging rhetoric wasn’t enough, political lawyers have been busy in court trying to make mail-in voting more difficult in the upcoming election. While states have generally made efforts to expand the use of Vote-by-Mail, opponents of our democratic rights are attempting to use the courts to claw back this expansion of our voting rights.

Of course, the 2020 election was a singularly important moment for Vote-by-Mail. During the height of the pandemic, more than 65 million people relied upon the Postal Service to ensure they could vote in the general election. And, despite the threats of Covid and the politically-charged atmosphere, postal workers delivered in record fashion, delivering 97 percent of ballots within their service standards and 99.7 percent of all ballots within seven days. To defeat those who are attacking our democracy, and attacking our public Postal Service, we’ll need to do it again in 2024.

Many Grand Alliance members will be actively engaged in voter turnout efforts in the upcoming election. As postal workers, you can do your part by ensuring your neighbors, friends, and pro-postal allies that postal workers are committed to serving our country again in this year’s election.

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