New reports of US Postal Service workers hauling away mailboxes in flatbed trucks and locking shut convenient drop slots have caused widespread concerns among Oregon residents about mail-in voting during the presidential election in November.
Photos that spread across social media in recent weeks showed truck beds stacked with dropbox mailboxes — large, blue Postal Service boxes in which mail can be dropped off on the side of the road without having to visit a Post Office.
The Postal Service confirmed some mailboxes have been removed from neighbourhoods in recent weeks, The Oregonian reported, with residents in Eugene and Portland alerting the local newspaper their access to contactless USPS mailing options have become increasingly limited just ahead of the crucial vote.
Ernie Swanson, spokesperson for the USPS, told the publication that “duplicate” boxes were being removed from regions with multiple collection boxes, alleging “first-class mail volume has declined significantly in the US, especially since the pandemic” and noting how that “translates to less mail in collection boxes”.
While the USPS spokesperson said the removal of some mailboxes “shouldn’t affect people at all”, residents said they were quickly losing access to ways they can send mail without potentially risking their health amid the coronavirus pandemic.
🚨Please share this picture far and wide. Trump is trying to steal the election. He is gutting the USPS to make it difficult for people to vote by mail. Here in Oregon, that’s our only option. This demands attention! @OregonGovBrown pic.twitter.com/JSsmA0FTzY— Mark Ⴟ Delaney (@markdelaneysays) August 9, 2020