The United States Postal Service plans to get rid of hundreds of pieces of letter-sorting equipment at facilities across the country, including two in Massachusetts, and has also warned the state that it may not be able to return mail-in ballots in time to be counted for the presidential election, according to an internal Postal Service document and a letter obtained by NBC News.
The document, which was created in May, lists the agency’s processing and distribution centers in both Boston and Brockton as being slated for cuts.
In addition, a letter sent by the Postal Service’s top attorney to Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin on July 30 warned that there is a “significant risk,” that the agency might not be able to return mail-in ballots in time to be counted.
More on the U.S.P.S. and Mail-in Voting
Democratic members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation said Friday that the cuts to the Postal Service threaten the election.
“I think that there is a conspiracy between Donald Trump and the postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, to steal this election,” said Sen. Ed Markey.
Congressman Joe Kennedy III, who is vying to replace Sen. Markey, echoed those concerns.
“I’ve got grave concerns as to what the intent and the effect behind this decision is,” he said.
In a statement to NBC10 Boston, the Postal Service said: “The Postal Service routinely moves equipment around its network as necessary to match changing mail and package volumes. Package volume is up, but mail volume continues to decline.”
President Trump, who has opposed billions of dollars in additional funding for the cash-strapped agency, has said he fears that mail-in voting could lead to voter fraud, something experts noted is extremely rare.
The president, however, indicated on Friday that he would agree to additional funding for the Postal Service if Democrats give him an acceptable coronavirus relief bill to sign.