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Tipsheet

USPS Is 'Investigating' an Alarming Mail Issue in SoCal

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Over the last few months President Donald Trump and Republicans have wondered how the United States Postal Service (USPS) will be able to handle the influx of mail this fall with the election in November, especially as more states move to voting by mail. 

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The concerns seem valid, especially considering the USPS is now launching an investigation into bags of mail being dumped in two different locations in Glendale, California, a suburb of Los Angeles.

One of the instances was caught on a surveillance camera outside of a spa. A Budget rental truck can be seen backing up before a man jumps out and unloads the bags of mail and boxes.

It was completely unusual. If they’re taking for their personal use, basically, why’d they have to drop off all the unopened packages somewhere," Lilia Serobian, the co-owner of 7Q salon told CBS Los Angeles. "Of course it’s suspicious. You start thinking, ‘OK, something is going on,’ because no one has access to all those boxes and packages.”

Police said the incident at 7Q happened shortly after a similar dump was made less than half a mile away. 

Glendale Police Sgt. Christian Hauptmann told the Los Angeles Times the incident involved “possible stolen mail or whatever [that] was dumped in an alleyway."

This is the most recent incident involving the USPS. A mid-August report from the LAT explained other issues the USPS was having in California alone:

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Six weeks ago, U.S. Postal Service workers in the high desert town of Tehachapi, Calif., began to notice crates of mail sitting in the post office in the early morning that should have been shipped out for delivery the night before.

At a mail processing facility in Santa Clarita in July, workers discovered that their automated sorting machines had been disabled and padlocked.

And inside a massive mail-sorting facility in South Los Angeles, workers fell so far behind processing packages that by early August, gnats and rodents were swarming around containers of rotted fruit and meat, and baby chicks were dead inside their boxes.

Accounts of conditions from employees at California mail facilities provide a glimpse of what some say are the consequences of widespread cutbacks in staffing and equipment recently imposed by the postal service.

On top of that, the USPS was removing roughly 10 percent of its mail sorting machinery and eliminating overtime pay for employees. Add those sweeping changes plus most of the country switching to voting by mail and the system is definitely going to be overwhelmed. In fact, the USPS is overwhelmed as it is with more people shopping online because of the pandemic. Factor in millions of ballots from all across the country and this is likely to cause the system to go crazy. Only time will tell how long it'll take for every ballot to be counted.

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Regardless of what this situation is, it's not looking good. Either mail has been stolen and that's a major, major concern for election security or a carrier decided not to do his job so he dumped the mail, which is also a concern for ballots. How do we know this won't happen with something as sacred as our elections? 

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