News Release

Tying the Hands of Postal Workers and Democracy


Washington Monthly magazine reports in “Louis DeJoy’s October Surprise” that: “A ban on postal workers’ ability to co-sign absentee ballots could determine the election.”

Shaw is author of the book Preserving the People’s Post Office and recently wrote the piece “The U.S. Postal Service Was Designed to Serve Democracy” for Foreign Affairs.

He said today: “In an unprecedented move, this summer the U.S. Postal Service forbade on-duty postal workers from acting as witnesses for mail-in ballots. A number of states — including the important swing states North Carolina and Wisconsin — require that mail-in ballots be co-signed. Enforcement of this policy began during the same period that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy implemented a series of changes that disrupted mail collection, processing, and delivery. Tens of millions of Americans are voting by mail due to COVID-19, and forbidding postal workers from co-signing ballots only hinders the democratic process. Although the American Postal Workers Union, National Association of Letter Carriers, National Rural Letter Carriers Association, and National Postal Mail Handlers Union have protested directly to senior postal management, this ill-advised policy remains in place. Promotion of democracy has been a central role of the Postal Service since the eighteenth century. This irresponsible policy conflicts with the historic mission of the Postal Service and further reveals a disturbing unwillingness among its current leadership to serve the public interest.”

Shaw recently had an op-ed in the Washington Post: “Postal banking is making a comeback. Here’s how to ensure it becomes a reality.”