Open letter to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos: Use your ever-growing fleet of delivery trucks to deliver mail-in ballots to registered voters, pick up the completed ballots and then drop them off at the appropriate election authorities.
(This open letter was sent not only to Jeff Bezos but also to my Congressperson, Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL), to Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Government Operations and to be ecumenical, my two U.S. Senators, Marco Rubio (R-FL) Rick Scott (R-FL). If you too want a fair and unencumbered election and agree with both my sentiments and my ask of Mr. Bezos, I encourage you to send a copy of this letter to your representatives in Washington as well. )
Dear Mr. Bezos,
President Donald Trump’s assault on the Postal Service is putting the 2020 election in peril.
Trump is doing whatever he can to reduce the efficacy and efficiency of the United States Postal Service with one singular goal: to depress the number of mail-in ballots in the upcoming election; mail-in ballots that now, more than ever in our history due to the pandemic, are critical to a fair election in which every individual has the right to make his or her voice heard.
The appointment of Louis DeJoy as Postmaster General, despite concerns about his conflicts of interest and despite the fact that he is the first Postmaster General in two decades without prior experience in the USPS, is wreaking havoc on the Postal Service.
DeJoy has banned overtime and extra trips to deliver mail, to, he claims, reduce costs. The effect of these measures will result in slowing of the mail service, including, and most egregiously, mail-in ballots
In early August, DeJoy announced the reassignment or displacement of 23 senior USPS officials, including the two top executives overseeing day-to-day operations on the premise that he was trying to breathe new life into a “broken business model.” Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, who chairs the House committee that oversees the post office, someone, given his position, has expert knowledge of the USPS, said the reorganization was “deliberate sabotage”.
On top of this sabotage from within, President Trump is attempting to upend the post office from the outside by reducing federal funding of the USPS:
“They want 25 billion dollars—billion—for the Post Office,” the president said on Fox BusinessNetwork. “Now they need that money in order to have the Post Office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots.”
As John Nichols writes in The Nation:
“The USPS actually needs $75 billion to address current challenges posed by the pandemic and longer-term challenges created by a congressional mandate that the Postal Service fund pension costs decades into the future. But Trump is blocking even a down payment on that funding because, as he says, without those funds ‘that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting.’”
Nichols continues his article with a statement from Campaign Legal Center President Trevor Potter, a Republican and former chairman of the Federal Election Commission:
“Trump’s brazen abuse of the post office to try and win an election is a shameful misuse of presidential power. Defunding the Postal Service and slowing its ability to deliver mail ballots to Americans will hurt Democratic and Republican voters alike. Congress needs to stand up to President Trump’s attempt to make it harder for Americans to vote, and take action now to ensure that the Postal Service can perform at an optimal level, especially during the pandemic when vote-by-mail and absentee voting requests are at an all-time high. Lawmakers must work urgently to come to an agreement that will provide adequate funding for the Postal Service so that we have a successful election in November. Our democracy depends on it.”
Although Mr. Potter is correct that Congress needs to standup, you know as well as I, it will not and cannot given it’s current divisiveness.
And that’s where you come in. You run a company that can get an order from a distribution center to a front doorstep in one day, or less. Can you replicate that kind of efficiency with mail-in ballots? I believe you can.
So, here’s the ask: Use your ever-growing fleet of delivery trucks to deliver mail-in ballots to registered voters, pick up the completed ballots and then drop them off at the appropriate election authorities.
In doing this, you will be delivering more than just packages; you will be delivering to Americans their most sacred American right – the right to vote and then, to have that vote count.
This is not a Democratic issue. This is not a Republican issue. It is not a right or left issue. This is an issue that, if not addressed and solved, goes to the heart of the great American experiment in democracy. Without the help of people like you, I fear that experiment is in danger of ending ignominiously.
Mr. Bezos, this is perhaps the most consequential election that any of us have ever experienced. I believe, without hyperbole, that the future of the country is on the line. That future cannot be allowed to be determined by cheating, dirty tricks and corrupt practices. I urge you to act on this proposal…or even, develop a better one, if you have one. But remember, time is of the essence. If Congress can’t and won’t act, “we the people” must act. You are one of those “we the people,” but unlike most of us, one with the stature, knowledge and infrastructure to actually make something happen.
Finally, if you believe it will help, you might want to engage your partners and sometime competitors, UPS and FedEx in this effort.
Thank you for listening. I look forward to your next steps.