The three prerequisites for a functioning democracy are rule of law, a non-partisan civil service and consent of the governed. Consent is obtained by periodic elections. The way elections are supposed to work is that the winners govern and the losers constitute a loyal opposition, which works to hold the winners accountable and win the next election. That isn’t what happened in 2016. The losers (specifically, the progressive wing of the losing party) spent 3.5 years doing everything possible to delegitimize the election result and terminate Trump’s presidency. The message conveyed: If you don’t like the results, the election doesn’t count. That is a dangerous message and a sword with two sharp edges.
Now, we’ll go to some facts about USPS. In my town, it takes 3–4 days for a first class letter to get across town. In the last 50 years, average productivity growth in the American economy has been a little above 2%; at the USPS, it has been lower than 1%. The current structure mandates that the Post Office operate like a private business, but it can’t alter service, raise rates or push back against its gaggle of unions without the consent of Congress (which has not been forthcoming). Ms. Pelosi stuck $25,000,000,000 in her COVID relief bill for USPS because “we have to protect vulnerable seniors who depend upon receiving their social security check every month”. Lack of money isn’t the problem. Something over 30,000,000 social security payments are made every month. 833,000 go by mail. The vast majority are direct deposit. The world has changed. USPS has not been allowed to change with it. All of that notwithstanding and given adequate notice, USPS has plenty of capacity to handle 130,000,000 ballots. They handle 471,000,000 pieces of mail every day and the number of ballots will be lower because many voters will choose to go to the polls. USPS has requested a 15 day turnaround.
The problem will be twofold. First is behavior by election officials in some states. They aren’t allowing the turnaround time requested by USPS and they are planning to count votes that arrive well after election day. There are also procedures for disqualifying ballots that are not properly filled out. Battalions of lawyers are waiting in the wings.
The second, and more serious, problem is ballot harvesting. Democrats are better at this trick and they now have a lot more money than the Trump campaign does (including the latest $100,000,000 from Mike Bloomberg). Using social media data, they can target likely Biden voters. They can text or knock on the door. “Have you mailed in your ballot?” “If not, we’d be happy to help you fill it our correctly and put it in the mailbox for you.” Some harvest workers will undoubtedly step over the legal line in search of votes. Battalions of lawyers are waiting in the wings.
What can you do? Buy a face shield. They’re available on Amazon for a few bucks. Put on your mask, your new shield and disposable gloves. Stand in line. Put your ballot in the ballot box. Sterilize your hands afterward. Your vote will get counted on election night or soon thereafter. No lawyers will be involved. Millions of Americans died or were wounded in service of American democracy. You can make this small sacrifice in their honor.