Postmaster General DeJoy promises USPS can handle election mail

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58)-- U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy promised the United States Postal Services will be able to handle a surge in election mail this fall. He was grilled by a U.S. Senate committee after reports of mail delays and sorting machine removals sparked a national uproar.

In his testimony, he told senators he's confident the postal service will be able to deliver election in November, even while acknowledging changes he has implemented has slowed down mail delivery.

"We had maybe a four to five percent hit on our service level," recalled Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, "delayed all sorts of mail, marketing mail, everything, because it got stuck on the dock, we're drastically bringing that down"

DeJoy explained a change he made to get the Postal Service trucks out on time caused a ripple effect, delaying mail the postal service is now working through.

Pictures a source provided to CBS 58 show pallets of mail stuck at local post offices. The delays as well as sorting machine removals have worried democrats in particular the Postal Service won't be able to handle a crush of election mail.

"Do you have a detailed plan that will ensure the kind of delivery that will allow Americans to count on voting by mail," asked Senator Maggie Hassan. (D-New Hampshire)

"Extremely, highly confident, we will scour every plant each night leading up to election day," said DeJoy.

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson (R) chairs the committee overseeing the Postal Service. He said those fears are overblown.

"Even if every voter used mail in ballots, that would be approximately 150 million pieces of mail, or less than six percent of weekly volume," said Johnson.

DeJoy said the Postal Service has enough money in the bank to operate through election day, and while he has suspended further sorting machine and collection box removals until after the election, he said those will need to continue again after.

"We really are moving these machines out to make room to process packages," said DeJoy.

DeJoy said the Postal Service will a letter to all Americans in September explaining its process for handling election mail. He also said there will be extra staff in place starting in October to ensure ballots move through the system.

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