WA Secretary Of State Warns Of Dangers About Eliminating Postal Service

Apr 29, 2020

Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman says eliminating or privatizing the Postal Service would hurt the state's ability to continue with vote-by-mail elections.
Credit Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Washington’s Secretary of State says attempts to shut down or privatize the U.S. Postal Service would hurt the Evergreen State’s ability to conduct elections by mail.

Kim Wyman and her counterpart in Vermont today [Wednesday] called for Congress to provide economic stimulus money to the agency so it can continue to remain viable.

Wyman says 33 million voters cast absentee ballots during the 2016 presidential election. She estimates that, because of concerns about the coronavirus, that number could double or even triple in this year’s election. Five states, including Washington and Oregon, conduct their elections all by mail, but several others are now considering it, if not permanently, at least for the presidential election.

During a press call on Wednesday, Wyman said if the Postal Service is eliminated, rural voters would most likely see the effects.

“Even if we could move to some third-party vendor, not third-party vendor, alternative delivery system like USPS or FedEx or DHL, there’s a large swath of voters that I could not reach with any kind of delivery because they receive their ballots in a post office box," she said.

Wyman downplays concerns about voter fraud, saying elections offices have worked diligently to improve their processes and security. She says she would be more concerned about voting using Internet-based apps  because of their vulnerability to hacking.