The U.S. Postal Service, even more essential as social media are flooded with misinformation, is being compromised by partisan politics. In Morgantown, mail was delivered or collected from my house only four of six days last week.
I grew up in Medley, on Patterson Creek Road in Grant County, then considered “the most Republican county east of the Mississippi River.” Old crank telephone lines had gone out in a storm in 1942. Around 1950, folks decided to try to get telephones back to Medley. A delegation went to Romney, in Hampshire County, a “Democrat county,” to meet with the telephone company.
The delegation presented its request; company officials said, “No, we are not putting a line up Patterson Creek Road.” “Why not?” they asked, “We will pay our bills.” The reported answer was “There are too many Republicans up there!” That decision stood for two decades.
The new postmaster general, reportedly a major Trump donor, has apparently decreed that the Postal Service will have no overtime pay, delaying delivery. Is Morgantown mail slowed “because there are too many Democrats there?” Or is the goal to limit voting by mail in November?
Voting by mail was facilitated in the West Virginia primary by Secretary of State Mac Warner and county clerks. It won’t be as easy in the general election. It’s time to end extremism in politics, to tell Congress to protect the U.S. mail and to vote.