Category: Current Events
The United States Postal Service has been an important government institution for over 200 years, serving every mailing address regardless of location. It is because of the USPS that our state of Oregon has been able to conduct elections via mail-in ballots for decades; and now that it is at the very real risk of going bankrupt by the end of this summer, we need to come up with a “plan B”.
What separates the USPS from privatized parcel delivery companies is the fact that the USPS is legally obligated to serve everyone equally, no matter where they live. Without this rule, they could decide not to deliver mail or parcels to people living in more rural locations, just so that they could save some money.
Now, in theory, lawmakers in Salem could draw up and pass legislation which holds all postal delivery entities to this rule, whether privately- or publicly-owned. This sounds like a pretty good idea, but what worries me is the possibility of lobbying on behalf of UPS and other companies in order to halt such legislation. If the lack of single-payer healthcare in Oregon is any indication, we cannot always rely on Salem to do what’s best for all Oregonians.
Another idea is that Oregonians could pass a ballot initiative on the creation of a publicly-funded mail delivery network, similar in nature to the current USPS. However, to avoid the same fate as the USPS, this new postal service should be decentralized in its management – run by newly-created elected officers in every county seat, who are directly accountable to voters, and who meet regularly to coordinate delivery routes, postage rates, and the like. This way, all Oregonians can continue to send and receive their mail and parcels, and hold more authority over how this essential service is managed.
Now, just to be clear: I am not an expert this subject, nor do I claim that my solutions is necessarily the best one. But if we are to protect our right to vote by mail in our state, we need to get the ball rolling, and fast.Read More...
Posted on 29 Jul 2020, 14:32 - Category: Current Events