There’s a presidential election coming up. Millions of Americans will depend on absentee and mail-in ballots to cast their votes for president, senators, representatives and a slew of state offices.

The role of the U.S. Postal Service in the 2020 election will be more important than ever as many Americans will prefer to cast their ballot by mail in these coronavirus times.

Yet Postal Service leaders plan implementing intentional delays in mail delivery and processing — some of which are already underway. This simply cannot happen. Not now, before a crucial national election.

How the Postal Service can even think about those changes right now is beyond comprehension.

It is clear changes need to come to the Postal Service — but not these changes and not now.

The delays have already started and mail is being slowed by a day or more in many parts of the country.

Many of those casting their votes by mail will be older people and those with health conditions that put them at special risk for complications from COVID-19.

Beyond the issue of the election, much of middle America, and certainly older people, continue to rely on the Postal Service and regular mail delivery for medicines, packages, cards and, yes, letters. Cuts and delays in service disproportionately impact regular working people, the retired and minority communities. Many people don’t want to do all of their communications online.

{p class=”krttext”}For the long term, delays in mail delivery should be among the last measures chosen to save money.

For now, the crucial issue remains the upcoming election.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy must reverse course. Making sure people can exercise their right to vote in difficult times takes precedence over saving the Postal Service money in the next few months.

This is made more important because some states have provisions that require the ballots to be at election offices by the end of Election Day.

Properly funding the postal system and retooling the service to run effectively and in a financially sound manner doesn’t require a quick fix. It requires a carefully thought-out plan in which all stakeholders have at least the opportunity to make proposals for a more-efficient operation.

The November presidential election is not the time for an experiment with delayed mail delivery.

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