Yes, the mail really has slowed down recently. No, the delays are not part of a dastardly plot to steal the election on behalf of President Donald Trump.
That was the two-pronged message that Louis DeJoy, the new postmaster general, delivered this morning to the Senate—and, by extension, American voters—as he confronted a national uproar over whether the Postal Service can, and will, handle a surge in mail-in balloting this fall.
“The Postal Service will deliver every ballot and process every ballot in time,” DeJoy testified to the Homeland Security Committee, in one of several assurances he offered. “I think the American people can feel comfortable that the Postal Service will deliver on this election,” he added. Specifically, DeJoy promised that the agency would still expedite election mail as it has in the past and would not force states to pay higher prices to process ballots. “We will scour every plant each night leading up to Election Day,” he promised Senator Mitt Romney of Utah.
DeJoy’s promises—indeed, merely his willingness to appear voluntarily before Congress—could go a long way toward dispelling charges by many Democrats that the longtime GOP donor is in cahoots with Trump and deliberately sabotaging the Postal Service ahead of an election that the president says will be “rigged” by mail-in balloting. But if DeJoy managed to assuage concerns about the intent of the changes he has brought to the Postal Service, he was less effective in salving worries about their implementation or consequences. And that’s why Democrats emerged from today’s two-hour hearing with scarcely more confidence in DeJoy’s leadership than when the hearing started.