Postal service informs managers not to reconnect mail sorting machines

The Director of Maintenance Operations instructed staff via email not to put any sorting machines back together


USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy issued an apology over any appearance that his attempt to institute new policies would impact the organization and interfere with the upcoming presidential election.

However, managers were instructed not to reconnect any sorting machines.

Read More: Democrats investigate the head of USPS after sudden changes

Kevin Couch, Director of Maintenance Operations, sent an email to maintenance managers on Tuesday with that order. He instructed them not to reassemble any machines that are used to sort the mail, Vice reported Thursday. Motherboard obtained a copy of the email and published it on their outlet.

Post Offices Across Country Brace For Expected Busiest Mail Day
Stacks of boxes holding cards and letters are seen at the U.S. Post Office sort center on December 15, 2008, in San Francisco, California. On its busiest day of the year, the U.S. Postal Service is expecting to process and mail over one billion cards, letters, and packages. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

“Please message out to your respective Maintenance Managers tonight. They are not to reconnect / reinstall machines that have previously been disconnected without approval from HQ Maintenance, no matter what direction they are getting from their plant manager,” Couch wrote.

“Please have them flow that request through you then on to me for a direction.”

A follow up e-mail doubled down on that order:

“We are not to reconnect any machines that have previously been disconnected.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi alluded to the email after she revealed part of her conversation with DeJoy on Thursday. Pelosi declared that DeJoy’s insistence that USPS would suspend any new policies until after the election was misleading.

Mail-in Ballot
An employee at the Utah County Election office puts mail in ballots into a container to register the vote in the midterm elections. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

“The Postmaster General frankly admitted that he had no intention of replacing the sorting machines, blue mailboxes and other key mail infrastructure that have been removed and that plans for adequate overtime, which is critical for the timely delivery of mail, are not in the works,” Pelosi said in a statement.

“All of these changes directly jeopardize the election and disproportionately threaten to disenfranchise voters in communities of color. At the same time, we are highly concerned that the slowdown of the delivery of medicines to veterans is not being sufficiently addressed.”

Read More: Postmaster has no plans to replace voting machines, drop boxes

As theGrio reported, DeJoy maintains that there were no ulterior motives behind the cost-cutting measures that have taken place at USPS though they have led to a backlog of mail and concerns that the postal service will not be able to fulfill mail-in ballot requests.

At the Senate committee meeting, DeJoy testified he had no prior knowledge about blue mailboxes and sorting machines being removed, which led to public backlash.

“I was made aware when everyone else was made aware,” DeJoy testified.

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