Monday, January 23, 2012

Mail Ballots, Without Using the Mail

Not yet a month into the blog, and the persistent topic theme is the Post Office.

This sign ironically hangs in our post office.
We have two mail-ballot elections going on, with about 90,000 first-class ballots sent and all those returned coming back first-class.  The return rate for mail-ballot elections is about 40 percent.

The postage on the two is about $60,000.

This morning, for the third time, we didn't get any ballots with our regular mail.  We received some that were returned as undeliverable, but our carrier today said he was told there weren't any others.

Really?  All weekend, no ballots came through the office?

We called.  Yes, we were told, there are five trays, but they were not ready when the carrier was ready to leave.  We can get them delivered tomorrow.  The local office would not bring them to us today, so we've sent staff members to get them.

We asked why they weren't ready earlier and we were told that the office wasn't going to spend money on overtime for these.

I certainly don't want anyone to work extra, but as a matter of policy, these are pieces of election mail and $60,000 probably would cover a little overtime, wouldn't it?

By the way, this is one of the post offices slated to close, a fact that came without surprise to me.  This is the same post office that only accepts business from businesses from noon until 4.

This is why it's hard to take seriously comments from Paul Vogel at the U.S. Postal Service that "the post office is here to stay."