State leaders push new efforts to get USPS back on track, especially ahead of November election

Posted at 6:03 PM, Aug 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-10 18:05:11-04

Where’s my mail? People across the country and here in metro Detroit having been experiencing delays with the United States Postal Service. COVID-19 has impacted staffing and facilities as well as prompted more people to use the mail instead of doing somethings in person.

Policies from the new postmaster general could be adding to the problems and there is concern these problems could impact voting in November. U.S. Sen. Gary Peters along with Rep. Brenda Lawrence launched an investigation to get to the bottom of the delays.

“If we get mail, we don’t get it every day,” says Rebecca Juntunen who lives in Farmington Hills. She says mail delivery has been inconsistent and late for months and it’s getting worse.

“One day I got a bill, a letter ‘hey you owe us money’, (and also) ‘oh, by the way you didn’t pay us so we’re going to cancel you’ … all in the same day,” Juntunen said.

Peters plans to address concerns like Juntunen's.

“We’re hearing from the VA in particular, where folks are not getting the prescriptions they need,” Sen. Peters said. “I’m the ranking member of Homeland Security and Government Affairs, so we are the top oversight committee overseeing the US Postal Service. It’s in my jurisdiction and we need to find answers."

Sen. Peters joined forces with Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence who used to work for the postal service.

“They’re not supposed to leave the office unless they have sorted all the mail that they received that day and then deliver it,” Lawrence said.

Lately, new policies put time limits on sorting the mail and require carriers to leave before they are finished.

“The rest sits on the floor and the next day there is even more mail on top of that,” Lawrence said.

In addition to cost cutting measures that seem to be backfiring, COVID-19 has created other logistical issues for example limiting the use of planes for mail delivery.

“So now there’s more trucks on the ground," Lawrence said. "We have to make sure they work. Come November the entire country will be voting at the same time and we can not afford - oh that didn’t work, this must work."

Senator Peters is asking that anyone experiencing issues with the mail delivery or postal service to report it on his website:

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.