WASHINGTON, D.C. – Public Citizen, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) today submitted a joint comment on the U.S. Postal Service’s proposal to lengthen the time for delivery of First-Class Mail. Public Citizen, NAACP, and LDF urge the Postal Service not to adopt a rule slowing mail delivery.
Prompt mail delivery is vital to people throughout the country. The Postal Service’s proposal will slow delivery of essential communications and packages to people who depend on mail to get checks, pay bills, and receive medications. It also jeopardizes the prompt delivery of ballots at a time when people are increasingly voting by mail and primary elections are underway in some states.
The Postal Service has sought to justify its proposal by asserting that lengthening service standards will result in cost savings, but, as the joint comment notes, it may well have the opposite effect by discouraging people from using U.S. mail. In any event, the Postal Service’s rationale flouts the statute’s specification that cost savings cannot justify impairing mail service.
“Prioritizing cost over the expeditious delivery of mail is contrary to the Postal Service’s statutory directive to give the ‘highest consideration to the most expeditious collection, transportation, and delivery of important letter mail,’” said Public Citizen attorney Wendy Liu.
“Millions of voters rely on mail to exercise their right to vote. Slowing mail delivery poses risk that significant numbers of ballots might not be delivered in time to be counted. It should go without saying that prompt mail delivery is critical to the timely receipt of ballots,” said Sam Spital, LDF’s director of litigation.
“Prompt and reliable mail service is essential to our democracy. Delaying mail service poses significant risks of harm, particularly for persons who live in small or rural communities. Even a delay by one or two additional days could disadvantage people who depend on mail for their prescription medications, ballots, and other essential materials,” said Janette McCarthy Wallace, Interim General Counsel of the NAACP.