Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said on Tuesday that he would put on hold changes to the operations of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) until after the election following uproar over slow delivery of ballots in the upcoming fall election and accusations from Democrats that President Donald Trump was trying to sabotage the vote-by-mail process.
"To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded," Louis DeJoy said in his statement.
However, despite the assurance from DeJoy, a Trump ally and a major Republican donor, mail sorting machines (critical pieces of equipment used to speed up the mail delivery process) are still being taken out of service, according to concerned citizens who have taken to social media to share images and video clips of the machines being discarded at multiple locations across the country.
Mail Sorting Equipment Being Discarded Across US
News anchor and investigative reporter Heather Walker shared footage from a USPS location in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where the mail sorting machines were being dismantled, which Walker describes as a "graveyard of mail sorting pieces." Walker says the mail-sorting machines "have been yanked out," and the cords cut.
Walker also draws attention to a nearby dumpster, which an eyewitness claims has been filled three times over the last week with parts and pieces of the mail sorting machines. Walker says the order came directly from the Postmaster General:
Geoff Bennett, an NBC News correspondent, also tweeted images of letter-sorting machines sitting in parts at a facility in Waterloo, Iowa, despite being in a "good working condition," according to an employee working there. The employee said the removal of the machines has caused delays in delivery.
In addition, there are also reports of the machines dismantled into pieces at a USPS facility in Portland, Oregon
95 of Mail Sorting Machines Already Removed
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said in an interview on Sunday that US Postal Service mail sorting machines will not be removed until Election Day. However, internal USPS documents reveal a majority of the USPS mail sorting machines have already been removed.
According to USPS planning documents, nearly 95% of the mail sorting machines that were slated for removal over the last few months would have already been taken out of service by now.
Documents from June reveal the USPS planned to remove 502 DBCS (Delivery Barcode Sorter) machines, or 13.2 percent of its total inventory by September 30. These machines are responsible for sorting envelope mail, which would include ballots for voters. However, nearly 95%, or 475, of those machines that were scheduled to go offline by the end of July, according to the documents.
It is not yet clear how many machines were actually removed by USPS, but union officials across the country confirmed that a number of these mail sorting machines, in addition to other machines, have either been removed or are in the process of removal.