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USPS Deactivating Mail Sorting Machines Ahead Of Election

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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.”

https://twitter.com/A_W_Gordon/status/1293953504764203011?s=20

“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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New York City Dems Push Law to Allow 800,000 Non-Citizens to Vote in Municipal Elections

The New York City Council will vote on December 9 on a law to allow green-card holders and residents with work permits to vote in municipal elections

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Election

New York’s Democratic party is battling over the constitutionality of voter laws. On December 9, the New York City Council will vote on a law to allow green-card holders and residents with work permits to vote in municipal elections.

“Around 808,000 New York City residents who have work permits or are lawful permanent residents would be eligible to vote under the legislation, which has the support of 34 of 51 council members, a veto-proof majority” reports Fox News.

“It’s important for the Democratic Party to look at New York City and see that when voting rights are being attacked, we are expanding voter participation,” Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, a sponsor of the bill and Democrat who represents the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, told the New York Times. Rodriguez immigrated from the Dominican Republic and became a U.S. citizen in 2000.

Fox News reports:

Laura Wood, Chief Democracy Officer for the mayor’s office, said at a hearing on the bill in September that the law could violate the New York State Constitution, which states that voters must be U.S. citizens age 18 or older.

Mayor Bill de Blasio indicated he could veto the bill following the September hearing.
“We’ve done everything that we could possibly get our hands on to help immigrant New Yorkers—including undocumented folks—but…I don’t believe it is legal,” de Blasio told WNYC radio at the time.

Mayor-elect Eric Adams, however, submitted testimony to the September hearing in favor of the bill. “In a democracy, nothing is more fundamental than the right to vote and to say who represents you and your community in elected office…Currently, almost one million New Yorkers are denied this foundational right.”

The legislation was first introduced two years ago, but had not yet gained traction due to the legal concerns.

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