WASHINGTON – Senator Bernie Sanders (I), Senator Patrick Leahy (D), and Representative Peter Welch (D) on Tuesday sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy demanding the immediate delivery and installation of the new AFCS 200 cancellation machine at the White River Junction mail processing facility, a machine that is critical to the efficient handling of the mail.
In the letter, Leahy, Sanders, and Welch wrote, “While we have been promised for months that a new AFCS 200 cancellation machine will be installed, we have just learned that this will not occur until January of 2021 at the earliest. This timing is both unacceptable and another example of this administration’s attempt to sabotage the Postal Service and the 2020 election.”
The cancellation machines at the White River Junction facility have been due to be replaced for several years now. USPS recently removed an AFCS (legacy system) cancellation machine from the facility, leaving the White River Junction center with just one operational cancellation machine. When that machine breaks down, as it did this past weekend, postal employees are forced to process mail by hand, which significantly delays the process. These employees are to be commended for their hard work and dedication and should be given every available resource to ensure the safe and timely processing of the mail, which includes a record number of mail-in ballots.
“Waiting until 2021 to get this new machine to Vermont will present undue harm to the hundreds of thousands of Vermonters who have been given the ability to vote by mail by November 3rd as well as Vermont’s seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities who rely on the Postal Service for the delivery of their prescriptions,” concluded the Vermont delegation. “It will also further harm all those who will be separated from their families this holiday season if they are unable to rely on promise of the U.S. Postal Service to receive mail from loved ones – a small but critically important way to reduce isolation, depression, and loneliness, particularly for older, more isolated Vermonters.”
You can read the letter here.