2 New Jersey congressmen prevented from touring Kearny Post Office sorting facility
Two New Jersey congressmen say that they were prevented from touring a U.S. Postal Service sorting facility in Kearny.
Democratic Reps. Bill Pascrell and Tom Malinowski wanted to check to see if mail-in ballots were being processed correctly but were stopped at the door.
Pascrell said that he wanted to speak with the men and women who worked at the facility. He said that he fears cutbacks by the postmaster general were designed to make the workers’ jobs harder and could potentially keep ballots in the upcoming election from being counted.
“This isn’t Fort Knox and it’s not Area 51 in Nevada,” Pascrell said.
With the election just over two weeks away, more than 1.7 million New Jerseyans have already completed their ballots and sent them in.
“We’ve heard in the last months, constituents waiting weeks for lifesaving medications, checks, tax refunds and other packages,” Pascrell said.
The congressmen directly point the finger for the slowdowns at Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, an appointee of President Donald Trump. Those slow-downs came about after DeJoy pulled equipment from facilities and removed staffing across the country, a maneuver Pascrell says that he believes was done intentionally by the Trump administration.
“He knows, like you and I know, that his goose is cooked if everybody votes,” Pascrell says.
After Congress questioned DeJoy’s decisions weeks ago, he had the equipment returned to the facilities. But the slowdowns have reappeared.
“In the last few weeks, we have seen a decline again in on-time delivery of first-class mail,” Malinowski said. “On-time first-class mail delivery has gone down about 79%.”
The congressmen say that their concern is for 6.2 million New Jersey residents who want to vote. New Jersey’s election is taking place mostly by mail because of COVID-19 concerns.
After they were stopped at the postal facility, Pascrell told News 12 New Jersey, “I wanted to talk to the union guys who do this every day to see what their opinions and thoughts are.”
Pascrell said he was told that he couldn’t tour the facility 45 days before the election, which he says is false. He said that he would be reaching out to the USPS again.
News 12 New Jersey reached out to the Postal Service for comment but did not hear back.