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'Don't Play Politics With The P.O.': Rally Supporting U.S. Postal Service Held in Bowling Green

Kevin Willis

The debate over mail-in ballots and the U.S. Postal Service made its way to Bowling Green Tuesday afternoon.

A small rally in support of the post office was held across from the city’s downtown postal facility on State Street. Those in attendance called on federal lawmakers to make sure the postal service has the funding and technology it needs to handle a high number of mail-in ballots anticipated this fall, including those sent in Kentucky.

President Trump recently said he would oppose a Democratic plan to provide more funding for the postal service, because he opposes efforts to boost voting through the mail. He then softened those comments after coming under intense criticism from Democrats, and even some Republicans. 

Democrats have been advocating for more opportunities to cast ballots through the mail due to the health concerns related to being around large groups of people amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alvaton resident Darlene Whitlow was one of about two dozen demonstrators at the Bowling Green event, many of whom held homemade signs and chanted messages of support for the postal service.

Whitlow, who retired from the postal service in 2018 after working for the federal agency for 30 years, said anyone who thinks the post office can’t handle the expected crush of mail-in votes this fall is wrong.

“I think that it’s a bunch of nonsense, because while I was working there, during each political season, we delivered to each household political mail every day for weeks on end leading up to the election,” she said. “If we can get that delivered, we can get ballots delivered.”

Becky Boyd of Bowling Green waived an American flag during the rally, and said the post office shouldn’t be a partisan issue.

“I think people are forgetting that it’s the United States Post Office, it’s not just our post office, your post office, our post office. And they’re not getting behind it and supporting it as a U.S. Post Office," she said. 

One speaker at the rally urged those in attendance to mail a letter of support for the post office to their U.S. Senators and Representative.

The issue of increased mail-in voting this fall, along with President Trump’s recent comments, have put on the national front-burner something that isn’t typically at the forefront of the American political debate: the delivery of mail

In response to pressure from lawmakers, the U.S. Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy announced Tuesday that a series of controversial changes he had instituted at the postal service will be suspended until after the November election.

That means, according to a statement issued by DeJoy, that mail processing equipment and collection boxes will remain in place, and no postal facilities will be closed.

Congressional Democrats objected loudlyafter reports surfaced of collection boxes being removedby U.S. Postal Service employees.   

DeJoy is scheduled to testify Friday before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Kevin is the News Director at WKU Public Radio. He has been with the station since 1999, and was previously the Assistant News Director, and also served as local host of Morning Edition.
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