Ahead of what will likely be the largest mail-in ballot filled election in November, the United States Postal Service is making some questionable decisions: retiring essential sorting machines right before ballots start pouring in their mailboxes.
A new report from Vice finds the USPS is struggling with budget issues and low mail volume — and now removing sorting machines from their facilities across the country without an official explanation.
The reporters found 19 mail machines from five processing facilities across the U.S. that are either already removed or will be soon. There is no official information about how many of these machines will be taken out before Election Day.
“Even to local union officials, USPS has not announced any policy, explained why they are doing this, what will happen to the machines and the workers who use them,” Aaron Gordon finds. “Nor has management provided a rationale for dismantling and removing the machines from the facility rather than merely not operating them when they’re not needed.”
“I’m not sure you’re going to find an answer for why [the machines being removed] makes sense,” said Iowa Postal Workers Union President Kimberly Karol to Vice, “because we haven’t figured that out either.”
Documents obtained by Motherboard, Vice’s technology site, show close to 15 percent of the mail system’s machines will be taken out of service. 502 machines around the country will be removed.
To further explain, Motherboard said the USPS presentation it obtained labeled this as an “equipment reduction,” instead of “mov[ing] equipment around its network” as a spokesperson had earlier said.
As fears of mail-in ballots getting lost, delayed, or tampered with increase in the national conversation, moves like this certainly don’t ease the national concerns around this widespread alternative to voting in-person.
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Videotapes from Jan. 6 Committee Witness Interviews Vanish
Videotapes containing witness interviews conducted by the Democrat-led January 6 congressional committee have disappeared. The chairman of the House Administration oversight subcommittee, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), expressed his apprehension on the “Just the News, No Noise” television show.
According to Loudermilk, all videotapes of depositions have vanished, raising questions about the preservation of crucial evidence. He argued that, under House rules, these tapes qualified as congressional evidence, especially since some clips were aired during hearings. Loudermilk contended that the tapes should have been preserved by the now-defunct Jan. 6 committee and its chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.).
Loudermilk’s revelation has broader implications, potentially impacting criminal trials in both state court in Georgia and federal court in Washington, where individuals, including former President Donald Trump, face charges related to the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. Notably, Trump’s legal team had recently requested evidence from the Jan. 6 committee but was denied by a judge.
The situation takes a further twist as Loudermilk disclosed that the J6 committee had sent certain evidence, such as transcripts, to the Biden White House and the Homeland Security Department. Shockingly, these transcripts have now been returned to Loudermilk’s GOP-led subcommittee almost entirely redacted, preventing the disclosure of their contents.
The lack of records regarding witnesses, their statements, and the extensive redactions have raised concerns among House Republicans. Loudermilk emphasized that these documents belong to the House and should not have been sent in such a heavily redacted form. The chairman questioned the motives behind the redactions, asking why a Democrat-run House was allowed to have unredacted documents while a Republican committee’s efforts were obstructed. This development adds another layer of complexity to the ongoing investigations into the events surrounding January 6, 2021.
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