Louis DeJoy: Mail Sorting Machines Can’t Be Reinstalled, Because They’ve Already Been Stripped For Parts
When U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified before Congress last month, he was asked about mail sorting machines that have been removed from Post Offices across the country. Now he says that those machines cannot be returned to use, because they’ve already been stripped for parts.
In his testimony before Congress, DeJoy answered very firmly the question of whether he would put the machines back. He said that the machines wouldn’t be reinstalled, and that they’re not needed.
"Will you be bringing back any mail sorting machines that have been removed since you've become Postmaster General?"
Louis DeJoy: "There's no intention to do that. They're not needed, sir."
"So you will not bring back any processors?"
"They're not needed, sir." pic.twitter.com/BG6vEjmOWb
— ABC News (@ABC) August 21, 2020
DeJoy says that the mail has not slowed due to changes made under his leadership (some of which he says were not ordered by him and were underway before he took his position), but Postal Service records contradict that, according to a Washington Post report. A federal judge has ordered a halt on the changes that were made ostensibly as cost-cutting, until after the election.
According to Transport Topics, states are specifically alleging that the removal of machines is slowing down mail, and that the timing, right before an election that will involve a record number of mailed ballots due to a pandemic, is suspect. The court order noted that a majority of removed machines are in counties that Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 election.
The Postmaster General agreed to put a pause on some of the changes being made to the U.S. Postal Service, but maintains that sorting machines will not be returned to use. In fact, HuffPost reports that he says he can not comply with a judge’s order to return 700 machines to service — because they’ve already been disassembled, and their parts harvested for other uses.
Dismantled machines are generally dissembled for their usable parts, with such parts being removed to maintain or enhance other machines. It is therefore not possible to return such machines to service.
Witnesses say they’ve seen the machines destroyed and dumped as scrap, however. DeJoy is asking for the order to be amended to reflect that these machines can’t be returned to service. Meanwhile, other states are continuing to press lawsuits for actions taken by the USPS under Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, for the impact on mail service and the concerns about how these actions will affect the election process.