Slowing the mail is not just reprehensible — it’s illegal
The time for hand-wringing is past (“Trump admits he’s blocking postal cash to stop mail-in votes,” Page A2, Aug. 14). We agree with Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, who said that undermining mail-in voting constitutes voter suppression and forces Americans to risk their lives to vote. But what are we going to do about it? Donald Trump’s publicly avowed plan to slow down the mail is not just reprehensible; it is illegal.
US Code 1703 clearly states: “Whoever, being a Postal Service officer or employee, unlawfully secretes, destroys, detains, delays, or opens any letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail entrusted to him or which shall come into his possession, and which was intended to be conveyed by mail, or carried or delivered by any carrier or other employee of the Postal Service, or forwarded through or delivered from any post office or station thereof established by authority of the Postmaster General or the Postal Service, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.”
So, delaying the mail is a federal crime. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is presiding over the evisceration of the Postal Service (and thereby suppressing votes). That would be illegal. Are President Trump and his enablers above this law, too?
Lorraine and Robert Witzburg
This is the move of an autocrat
The Biden-Harris campaign should make a major deal about Donald Trump’s sabotaging of the Postal Service. But really this is a bipartisan issue. Republican mail-in votes will be held up and may not be counted, just as with Democratic ballots. There will be other important mail that will remain undelivered or delayed.
This is particularly heinous as it is being done during the pandemic. People must make potentially life-threatening decisions regarding whether to risk COVID-19 exposure and vote in person or possibly forgo their fundamental right to vote. Trump is placing the American electorate between a rock and a hard place.
Indeed, there is one way in which this issue is very much partisan: It can serve to unite the country against Trump and his cronies. What they’re doing is unconstitutional and antidemocratic and undermines our most profound ideals. This is clearly the move of an autocrat and portends a major threat to every American — a threat that can only escalate if Trump is reelected.
Dr. Austin Wertheimer
The writer is affiliated with Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility.
Our voices could get lost in the mail
Voting by mail does not seem to function for us. We received the notice from the Massachusetts secretary of state to apply for vote by mail. We immediately filled out the cards as instructed and mailed them back. In a few weeks, I received my ballot. My wife did not. I called the Brookline town clerk and was told that my wife’s request was not received. It was lost in the mail. We were given instructions on how to obtain a ballot from the town. But we will vote in person. That seems to be the only reliable way to vote.
The post office failed us — let this be a warning to everyone.