BROWSE

Factbox: A state-by-state look at some of the U.S. Postal Service’s cuts

U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has halted a controversial cost-cutting program that slowed mail delivery ahead of the Nov. 3 elections, which could see a doubling in the number of ballots cast by mail because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. FILE PHOTO: United States Postal Service (USPS) mailboxes are stacked in an industrial lot in Hartford, Wisconsin, U.S., August 16, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File PhotoLawsuits filed to block the moves revealed details about the scale of the planned cuts: * The Postal Service had planned to remove 671 mail sorting machines nationwide, including 502 delivery barcode sorting machines capable of processing 35,000 pieces of mail per hour, by Sept. 30. * As of Aug. 16 it had already decommissioned 95% of its target, according to a lawsuit filed jointly by the Urban League, Common Cause and the League of Women Voters. * Overall DeJoy’s plans would have decommissioned 10% of the sorting machines in Postal Service’s inventory, the lawsuit said, citing Postal Service planning documents. * Postal Service officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment. STATE-BY-STATE The following are state-by-state cuts highlighted in a lawsuit filed by the state of Washington, including in the election battlegrounds of Michigan and Wisconsin: * Michigan said the loss of machinery in a Pontiac facility has reduced processing capacity by 394,000 pieces of mail per hour. * Wisconsin projected that seven of 36 mail sorting machines at a Milwaukee distribution center will be removed, and said staff shortages mean one worker rather than two now operates each. * Washington state said three of five processing facilities are no longer processing outgoing mail, and the Postal Service is in the process of removing eight mail sorting machines. * Colorado said six mail sorting machines are being removed. * Connecticut expects 18 mail sorting machines will be removed by the election. * Illinois said the Postal Service is in the process of removing 28 mail sorting machines, including 15% of all delivery bar code sorters. * Maryland said the Postal Service removed six mail processing machines in early August. * Minnesota said at least 20 mail sorting machines have been or are being decommissioned. It said 10 letter-sorting machines can process 5 million pieces of mail a day. * Nevada said at least four mail sorting machines have been removed. * New Mexico said four mail sorting machines are being removed. (This story corrects name of League of Women Voters in paragraph 4)

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