The United States Post Office (USPS) is planning to remove hundreds of high-volume mail sorting machines in the months leading up to the 2020 presidential election, which is likely to depend on mail-in voting if the coronavirus pandemic does not abate.
On Thursday, CNN reported that USPS documents showed that 671 machines are scheduled for “reduction” and that the process of getting rid of machines has been underway since June.
Vice previously reported that they identified 19 mail processing machines that have been or are scheduled to be removed.
In a recent statement, the post office said that the USPS “routinely moves equipment around its network as necessary to match changing mail and package volumes.”
It added, “Package volume is up, but mail volume continues to decline. Adapting our processing infrastructure to the current volumes will ensure more efficient, cost effective operations and better service for our customers.”
In a Thursday interview, Trump admitted that he is fighting Democrats on funding the post office as he referred to mail-in voting, saying, “They want $25 billion for the post office. Now, they need that money in order to have the post office work so it could take all of these millions and millions of ballots.”
He added, “Now, in the meantime, they aren’t getting there. By the way, those are just two items. But if they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting, because they’re not equipped to have it.”
Watch his comments below (starting at 10:30):
Trump has repeatedly bashed mail-in voting, which he has said is rampant with fraud, though there’s little evidence to support the theory that mail-in voting is subject to massive corruption.
The president himself recently requested a mail-in ballot for the general election in Florida.
Democrats have roundly condemned his attacks on mail-in voting and his refusal to fund the post office. On Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called it “a domestic assault on our Constitution.”