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Election experts testify before the US House that more funding is necessary. And Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington state had primaries yesterday; Hawaii and Tennessee have them later this week.

Count on Getting Your Mail? Senate Day of Action Urges Support for USPS

The COVID-19 pandemic has the U.S. Postal Service scrambling to come up with additional revenue.(Adobe Stock)
The COVID-19 pandemic has the U.S. Postal Service scrambling to come up with additional revenue.(Adobe Stock)
July 23, 2020

RALEIGH, N.C. - North Carolinians have been counting on their postal workers to deliver needed items during the pandemic, and now the U.S. Postal Service is asking residents to call their congressperson today about legislation that would provide $25 billion in COVID-19 relief for the national mail carrier.

President of Charlotte Area Local 375 of the American Postal Workers Union Anthony Wilson says many people mistakenly believe the postal service is run using tax dollars. Wilson says that's not the case, noting the agency operates just like any other business and raises money by selling stamps.

"We also have been serving and taking care of the people during the pandemic, and it's put an added burden that wasn't in our budget," says Wilson. "And it needs to be replaced just like any other company. "

The postal service is projecting nearly $13 billion in losses this year as a result of low mail volume, and if the trend continues, the agency projects it could run out of money by the fall of 2021. The American Postal Workers Union says it plans to make at least 10,000 calls to Congress today.

Wilson points out that nationwide, older residents and those living in rural areas rely on the postal service to receive checks, medicines and other essentials.

"All that stuff is through the mail, through the postal service," says Wilson. "Even ordering through other companies, we do the last leg of their delivery because we're a service of the citizens no matter where you're at."

Vote-by-mail advocates say the postal service is critical to ensuring North Carolinians receive their absentee ballots, especially as the state braces for an influx of people choosing to vote by mail.

One North Carolina professor estimates almost 70,000 voters have requested absentee ballots for the fall election, more than four times the number of requests four years ago.

Disclosure: American Postal Workers Union contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Nadia Ramlagan, Public News Service - NC