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Probably a good reason why the Postal Service has started hauling away mailboxes from Brighton to Gloucester

Mailboxes being taken away on Washington Street in Brighton

The Blank Check Kid spotted these mailboxes being hauled away on Washington Street in Brighton Center around 4 p.m. today.

Now, once, we might have assumed there was a good, perfectly legitimate reason, like they're replacing the old boxes, which were prone to mail theft with newer, more secure boxes. In fact, that's what the Postal Service told WCVB.

But with a president who admits he will fight efforts to help ensure mail-in ballots get delivered and with news that the Postal Service is deactivating mail-sorting machines like nobody's business? Who knows.

US Rep. Seth Moulton reports he's gotten similar photos from constituents in Gloucester:

My office has spoken with the Postmaster. The Postmaster assured us that all but one of the removed boxes in Gloucester will be replaced with more secure boxes. I can understand everyone's concern given the recent reporting about other cities and the president's comments this week. I will continue monitoring this and fighting to protect the postal service and our elections.

Meanwhile, back in Brighton:

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Comments

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Voting closed 31

has $millions of stock in USPS competitors.

Together, DeJoy and [his wife Aldona] Wos may claim up to a total $75,815,000 in assets from U.S. Postal Service competitors, according to government records.

Can you say "conflict of interest?" Sure.

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DeJoy spent 30 years as the CEO of a logistics company that had 6,800 employees. It would be odd if he didn't invest in the freight, logistics, and shipping sector which he's knowledgeable about.

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but it doesn’t mean it’s not a potential conflict of interest

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They made Jimmy Carter sell his peanut farm.

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"They" = Jimmy Carter
"made" = decided it would be a good idea if

More relevant, though, is that DeJoy is not a "Secretary of Shipping" who's regulating companies in the trucking industry. He's only managing USPS.

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holding assets totaling nearly $100m in USPS competitors isn’t relevant to managing USPS?

i find it hard to believe that any rational person would apply this logic in any other situation.

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Either you're a fool, or you think we are. The guy who has bunches of money invested in parcel delivery companies is actively working to cripple the main competitor of those companies, which is an essential public service. If you don't see a problem with that, you're a fool.

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Also really means that any seeming screwups of the USPS under his watch are unlikely to be actual screwups and more likely sabotage. Willful incompetence and all that.

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Anyone else notice where the large clusters of sort facilities are

California
Texas
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Michigan
New York

Ill also give honorable mentions to 'how convenient' clusters in

Florida
Wisconsin/Illinois

Oh how swinging convenient....

(well swing states with the exception of CA and NY)

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Not that I agree with this reduction of mail processing capacity in any way, but these states are the most populous. These 8 states are #1 through #7, plus #10. So it's not surprising that they have the most mail sorting machines, or the most being removed, since they should have the most of *anything* in this country.

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...some of the largest population states that therefore would be likely to have the most sorting machines?

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That relay boxes (bottom photograph) are used in the delivery of mail to customers, not for the pickup of mail?

Sometimes the least nefarious answer could be the right one.

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on the truck are legit mailboxes not relay boxes

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is also a possible point of attack.

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believe him:

"They need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo. “If they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting because they’re not equipped to have it."

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Anecdotal but observed firsthand: Needing something from my doctor's office during this pandemic, normally I'd just go pick it up in person but they aren't exactly fond of people coming in just to pick up a piece of paper right now. So they mail it to me. I live less than 10 minutes from their office. It's taken 5 days several times to get the piece of mail from their office through USPS and into my hands.

Based on their own timelines, you are supposed to be able to get a First Class letter from across the continental US in 3 days.

https://postalpro.usps.com/mnt/glusterfs/ribbs/service_standards/svcmaps...

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But, GUESS WHAT? Some states have had "mail in" voting for DECADES.

Those states make heavy use of drop boxes at government buildings. My parents used to drop theirs at the county offices a few blocks away.

So who does this hurt most? RURAL PEOPLE!

So long as states like NY and MA don't try to play the "we invented this and innovated and blah blah fart ignored decades of experience blah" game, we are okay.

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Before you can drop off your ballot at the elections office, they have to get it to you THROUGH THE MAIL. I'm still waiting for mine. Back in July, when I sent in the request for a postal ballot, USPS was already slow and unreliable...I wanted to take it directly to the town hall, but of course they are doing all business remotely because of the pandemic.

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Im concerned I won't get mine soon. I put the card in the mailbox in front of the post office 2 weeks ago and mind you it has to go about 1/10th of a mile to the clerks office and back again.

of course I know they do not sort in Chelsea.. it goes to Charlestown I think.

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I received my ballot from the Boston Elections Department in less than a week from the time I mailed in the request.

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I mailed my ballot request on Saturday, July 18, the day after I received it. But Somerville only mailed my ballot to me last Friday, August 14. With luck I'll receive it tomorrow.

(As for Chelsea, isn't that the main sorting center for a large number of suburbs? My mail in Somerville is processed there.)

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Rural people don't have that many drop-off mailboxes in the first place so I think the idea is to minimize voting in the cities.

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Rural people put mail in their own mailboxes and put the flag up. Blue boxes typically only appear outside the actual post office in such small towns.

Of course the going theory here isn't that Trump is trying to outright suppress the vote, but create a level of chaos that allows the results to be deemed unreliable. A simplified example, say 10M ballots go uncounted and Trump loses by 1M votes, he can "legitimately" claim the result isn't certifiable because had those ballots been counted he could come out ahead. He could then tie the election up in court, attempt to legitimize not conceding, and who know what chaos would break out on social media and then RL between his loyalists and everyone else?

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dismantling of the USPS in an effort he has publicly admitted is designed to suppress mail-in voting, I must ask: how did you manage to get your head so far up your own ass?

(It never fails: trotting out "Orange Man Bad" is a reliable indicator of a howling Trumpie dipshit.)

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OK moonbat

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howling Trumpie dipshit: having nothing in tow but feeble insults when someone points out they're oblivious to one of the biggest news stories of the past couple of weeks. I'm guessing they're finding comfort up in that deep, dark hole.

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There, there.

It's going to be OK.

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I'm surprised you are allowed internet access, as cognitively limited as you are.

Perhaps that is how you were so easily taken advantage of.

Ever hear "never give a sucker an even break"? You are that sucker.

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I haven't read that one since I stopped reading boston.com.

/Fuck boston.com.

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you sure do enjoy being publicly owned.

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..slow clap...

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You are exhibit A.

This attempt to destroy democracy and loot the public coffers has been outlined by your own God and Mother Trump.

I don't think you are stupid, I think you are brainwashed. Or you are profiting somehow from this raping of the country.

Shouldn't you be inspecting pizza store basements?

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The one closest to me, Mass Ave at Day/Dover Streets in North Cambridge, was replaced with the new, more secure model some time since I last used it. Really confused me the first time I tried to deposit a letter, especially since it was at night.

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There are new theft-proof mailboxes near me too. It took me a minute to figure it out.

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I understand why this is necessary. But it's too bad that our society as a whole is no longer trustworthy enough for the mailbox design that has worked since at least the early 50s. And the tamper-proof design makes it impossible to mail packages in a mailbox.

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If it's the same kind I'm thinking of, they started popping up around Back Bay a year or two ago (a slot for letters instead of a pull-open door). I had assumed they were designed so people couldn't put bombs or dangerous items inside (marathon route and all).

Was it really possible to steal mail out of the old design? That seems like it would take a lot of agility/bendy bones.

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Yes. There have been a lot of news articles about this. People have figured out how to steal mail out of the traditional mailboxes, and it's become a big problem.

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from the Globe, February 4, 2020: Police departments in Mass. hunting for thieves who are ‘fishing’ mail out of mailboxes

The thieves typically use string attached to a glue mouse trap or a plastic bottle covered with glue, to fish envelopes from mailboxes. They erase the writing on personal checks with chemicals, then rewrite the checks to themselves and cash them. They can use the victim’s bank account information to forge more checks, D’Innocenzo said.
...
The Postal Service is also replacing old mailboxes with newer ones that are more secure. Maureen Marion, a spokeswoman for the Postal Service, said several hundred “security-enhanced collection boxes” have been installed across the state.

“The upgraded boxes have proven to be a strong deterrent in mail thefts," she wrote in an e-mail.

The rash of thefts began in the Metrowest suburbs last summer and was a problem in Wellesley until new mailboxes were installed in November.

“The newer ones have smaller slots, so you can only put letters in,” D’Innocenzo said.

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Trump is orange and bad - and I truly wish nothing but the worst for him as soon as leaves office - but they are also removing the newly-installed anti-theft mailboxes as well.

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The Right saw black helicopters everywhere, now the left is seeing their version of black helicopters around every corner. .

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Yes, let’s go back 15 years and complain about Hollywood libruls. Good grief.

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And what does 15 years ago have to do with today? You lost me.

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...you're lost, all right.

Get to know that feeling well.

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if the president didn’t just straight up admit that it’s what he’s doing.

i don’t need to link to it, do i?

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People who run confidence games have a word for you - perhaps it is even your name!

Let's call you "Mark" from Dorchester.

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The postal service has been picking up the old collection boxes and replacing them with tabor resistant boxes for some time now.

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If this mailbox pickup in this photo is part of the upgrade to the tamper-resistant boxes that's good. Not everything an agency does is all-good or all-bad. We see lots of good work continuing at the front-lines in many/most federal agencies despite the current leadership. But meanwhile, yes, the USPS and mail-in voting is under open attack by the president.

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The postal service has been picking up the old collection boxes and replacing them with tabor resistant boxes for some time now.

In some places, yes.

In some other places in the country, they have been removing the old boxes and not installing new ones.

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Do you have info about this? Like, is it happening right now due to Trump?

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From the Billings, Montana Gazette:

USPS wouldn’t disclose which communities, other than Missoula, had been targeted for removal.

U.S. Sen Jon Tester, a Democrat, had identified Billings and Lewistown as communities targeted for removal, also Bozeman where a drop box across the street from his office was removed. The Montana chapter of the National Association of Letter Carriers identified Great Falls, as well. USPS wouldn’t speak about those communities.

Those places are all Blue-leaning. Not a coincidence.

Meanwhile,

Washington (CNN)The internal watchdog at the United States Postal Service is reviewing controversial policy changes recently imposed under Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, and is also examining DeJoy's compliance with federal ethics rules, according to a spokeswoman for the USPS inspector general and an aide to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who requested the review.

Also,

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) announced on Friday that he had made a criminal referral to the New Jersey attorney general calling for a grand jury investigation into President Trump and United States Postal Services (USPS) chief Louis DeJoy, alleging they have possibly subverted the November election.
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And why can't they be installed the same time the old ones are removed?

I hope those who use mail-in or absentee ballots, know they can leave mail they are sending in their individual, private mailboxes for their mailman to pick up.

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In theory yes, but when I've left outgoing mail
in my home mailbox, it's never gotten picked up.

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with a red flag you put up to indicate there is outgoing mail? If what you have is an apartment-type box built into the wall of the building's lobby, then no, it won't get picked up. It has to have that signal flag.

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Not as easy in cluster mailboxes as with apartment buildings.

Even in single-family homes with actual individual mailboxes, it's sometimes a blank look from carrier and they leave any stamped envelope where you put it.

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I'm sure they'll get around to it by, well, let's say, mid-November?

How long before the replacement ones are installed?

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November 4th at the latest.

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My mail carrier doesn't pick up mail from my home mailbox, I still have to go around the corner and drop the outgoing mail into the curbside box.

Even if he did, I have only received mail 3 days in the last week and a half. That's 3 out of 10 delivery days. Before Trump's latest assault on our democracy, not a day would go by without mail of some kind.

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My experience is not as bad, but is similar. I used to not get mail maybe twice a year. Now, it's at least once a week. This started in about May. Just about when DeJoy took over the USPS.
Stuff I order from overseas, that used to take two weeks, max, now takes two or three months. If that happens to servicemen on duty overseas, their votes are going to be lost.

Edit: My letter carriers always collect my outgoing mail.

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"A lot of businesses have ceased to do advertising through the mail," says US Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., "and as a result, mail volume has collapsed." He says the decline could be as much as 60% by the end of the year, which he says would be "catastrophic" for the agency. - National Public Radio, April 8, 2020

Back in April, a Democrat VA congressman said mail volume had already collapsed. If he is to be believed, why do we need as many (or any) mailboxes? To those fretting over this, newspaper sales have also collapsed and their boxes have disappeared from the streets too. Supply and demand predates President Trump.

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You personally may not have mailed or received a letter, package, check, holiday card, or anything else in years. That doesn't mean nobody else has.

Lower volume might mean it takes fewer people and machines to sort and deliver the remaining mail--it doesn't mean we don't need to get through quickly and reliably.

The last things I mailed included a card to my aunt, who I can't visit because she lives in another state and is in her eighties and an absentee ballot. The mail I received recently included that absentee ballot (before I filled it out), a postcard from a friend in Washington, my electric bill, and cucumber seedlings for my garden.

Some of that could be done as email. Some literally can't, like the plants, or really shouldn't---paper ballots are a lot more secure than anything that can be done by email.

Expecting everyone to get and pay their bills online means expecting everyone to have reliable internet access. Reliable enough that they can use it without having to call their grandchildren to explain it. Reliable enough that they don't have to go park outside the library to use Wi-Fi.

So, what's your plan for getting a smartphone or laptop, and free Wi-Fi, to every household in the United States? I think you'll find that the postal service is a bargain by comparison.

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A lot of people have insurance plans that require them to do mail order for their prescriptions or else make getting it at a pharmacy a lot more expensive. Many of those medications are crucial for their health and cause problems if doses are missed. People also sometimes receive prescriptions through the mail.

Many people on pensions or Social Security still receive those checks in the mail. Many of them can't afford to get the money a week late.

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The VA is big on mailing prescription medicines to veterans. Prescriptions can only be filled so often; if you slow down the mail, the medicine doesn't arrive on time. Who would want to deprive our veterans of the healthcare they earned? Did we stop caring about them all of a sudden?

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which is the biggest private health insurer. If Career Criminal Racist Asshole Trump's plans work as he hopes, even more people are going to die.

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Both Dig Boston (newly redesigned!) and The Epoch Times are available in boxes in my neighborhood.

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Did someone not get his medications this month?

A lot of people are not getting their medications.

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Veterans get their meds through the mail, and right now a lot of them aren't getting them.

Why do you hate veterans, Fishcop?

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Defund the Post Office.

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That is what the GOP is doing.

But unlike cops, the post office hasn't killed anyone nor is it overtly racist.

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ex-military equipment and weapons to deliver the mail.

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Well, they did used to use real Jeeps to deliver the mail, I think there's even still a few around, but no weapons I suppose.

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because I would 100% pay extra if they could assure me that the last mile of delivery would be accomplished by Howitzer. Which would be a much better use of surplus military equipment than literally anything the cops do with it.

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they used in the 1970s and 1980s, those weren't ex-military. They were custom built for the USPS by AMC, who owned Jeep at the time.

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I drove one that someone had equipped as a snowplow. Looked similar to a Jeep, but wasn't one. Too light to be a good snowplow, but useful for twisty driveways.

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The rear was stamped (pardon the pun) AM General, not Jeep. But mechanically, it was identical to the AMC Jeeps.

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are likely to be military surplus (at least of the US military).

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The post office stopped receiving federal funds in 1982.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postal_Reorganization_Act

Public Law 91-375.

The United States Post Office Department ceased being a Cabinet-level department and became the independent agency: United States Postal Service.

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I can't tell if you're joking or ignorant. The Post Office basically doesn't get any tax funding.

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The Postal Service is IN THE CONSTITUTION.

As for "defund", well, it WAS running a PROFIT until the GOP shackled it with a completely ridiculous pension demand.

But reading and research are not something you are capable of doing. We know that.

Can you at least tell us who taught you civics? I would like to slap them if they passed you.

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I'm curious - which pension demand are you talking about, and when?

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During the George W. Bush Administration.

"In 2006, Congress passed a law that imposed extraordinary costs on the U.S. Postal Service. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) required the USPS to create a $72 billion fund to pay for the cost of its post-retirement health care costs, 75 years into the future. This burden applies to no other federal agency or private corporation."

Here's a link to the full article.

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Republicans got caught trying to tamper with the election again and are partially backing down.

"USPS will stop removing letter collection boxes in Western states until after the election, spokesman says"

https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/14/politics/usps-removes-letter-collection-b...

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From the state's web page:

"Ballots may be returned by mail or in person to your city/town hall. If your city/town has provided a secure ballot drop box, ballots can be submitted to that drop box.

Typically, ballots returned from inside the country must reach your local election office in order to be counted. For the 2020 November State Election only, ballots will need to be postmarked by Election Day and reach your local election office no later than November 6 in order to be counted."

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I passed it this morning. Same graffiti and everything.

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Straight out denial from a Trump administrator Mark Maddows stating that No mailboxes or sorting machines are going to be removed during the run up to the 2020 elections.

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Are you telling me that a member of the Trump Administration is lying about this? I am shocked. Let's check. Were his lips moving?

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But USPS officials and industry insiders say the removals were part of a long-range plan, one that reflects Americans’ diminishing use for letters and growing reliance on package delivery.

A. I am not inclined to put a lot of faith in what current USPS officials are saying.
B. "Industry insiders" would be private competitors of the USPS, wouldn't they? Like the guy from Postcom quoted near the end, who says

As a general rule, our members believe that the Postal Service should be doing everything it can to encourage entry of commercial mail as deep into its network as it can, and to bypass postal operations to the maximum extent possible

Which sounds like having corporations profit from the mail as much as possible.

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