Tester, Colleagues to DeJoy: USPS Operational Changes Disproportionately Harm Deployed Servicemembers

Senator: “Making absentee voting more difficult disenfranchises the very Americans who serve and sacrifice on the front lines in defense of our right to vote”

(Big Sandy, Mont.) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, is joining 28 colleagues in raising concerns with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy over the heightened impact of harmful U.S. Postal Service (USPS) policy and operational changes on servicemembers and their families.

Because USPS is the only service that can deliver to the Army Post Office (APO) and Fleet Post Office (FPO) addresses used by our military overseas, deployed servicemembers and their families are uniquely impacted by changes that have left USPS “intentionally hamstrung and severely strained.” Active duty servicemembers who are deployed domestically also rely heavily on USPS to vote, pay their bills, receive packages, and stay in touch with family members and loved ones.

“This population of Americans is disproportionately affected by any actions that restrict or delay the mail, which is sometimes the only reliable connection they have with loved ones during their military service,” the Senators wrote. “Servicemembers rely on USPS for the delivery of medicines, ballots, bills, and countless other pieces of vital mail.”

They continued, “Even more alarming is the reality that servicemembers depend on the mail to exercise their most important rights as American citizens: the right to vote. Absentee ballots are the only way that most of the military community can use their constitutionally protected right to cast a ballot. Making absentee voting more difficult disenfranchises the very Americans who serve and sacrifice on the front lines in defense of our right to vote and live in a democratic society – a cruel irony to our men and women in uniform that must be remedied immediately.”

In addition to Tester, the letter was signed by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tina Smith (D-MN), Bob Casey (D-PA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Tom Udall (D-NM), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Mark Warner (D-VA).

Read the Senators’ full letter HERE.