The United States Postal Service is working to remove hundreds of mail sorting machines from facilities across the country, raising concerns among postal workers as the country prepares for an election in which Donald Trump has time and time again attacked vote by mail, CNN reports.
According to Vice, the removals are occurring without any real official reason or explanation, and so far, about 19 mail sorting machines from five different processing facilities have either already been removed or are slated to be removed in the near future.
“I’m not sure you’re going to find an answer for why [the machines being removed] makes sense because we haven’t figured that out either,” Iowa Postal Workers Union President Kimberly Karol told Vice.
The removals, which CNN noted includes some 671 machines slated for “reduction” in this year, has prompted concerns among postal workers about their capacity to process mail during the 2020 elections.
The removal of the machines also comes at a time when Trump has been repeatedly attacking the vote-by-mail process, even as many, mostly Democratic lawmakers push for the measure to make voting easier in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Trump has falsely claimed that mail-in ballots lead to widespread voter fraud, prompting Twitter to fact-check some of his tweets back in May.
As for USPS, it noted in a statement that it “routinely moves equipment around its network as necessary to match changing mail and package volumes. Package volume is up, but mail volume continues to decline. Adapting our processing infrastructure to the current volumes will ensure more efficient, cost-effective operations and better service for our customers.”