CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - 19 News investigates and locates at least one high-volume mail sorting machine dismantled behind the main U.S. Post Office branch in Cleveland.
A source who is a Cleveland area postal service employee says all the mail processing machines being removed are or were functional.
The issue is quickly becoming part of a nationwide controversy about the processing equipment that is being junked by the postal service, and questions about is it all a matter of timing to slow down the upcoming Presidential election, and discourage mail-in votes?
U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan is a Democrat representing Ohio’s 13th District which includes Akron, Summit County and other Northeast Ohio communities, “We’re trying to preserve our democracy in the middle of a global pandemic and you’re getting this absolute foolishness to try to defund the postal service right now. It doesn’t make sense any way you look at it.”
19 News spotted the large piece of mail sorting equipment that has been dismantled outside of the U.S. Postal Service's main branch in Cleveland. Equipment that when operating works quickly processing and dating your mail to get it where it needs to go.
Congressman Ryan believes the timing indicates that President Donald Trump is trying to stop people from voting by mail and cause chaos during this election.
“It’s absolutely suspicious I mean for the President to say he wants to defund the postal service. They’re eliminating these machine that make it quicker to get ballots going. They’re taking down mail boxes all over the towns across the country. And you’re doing this two months, a little over two months before a Presidential election, in the middle of a global pandemic? I mean it makes no sense anyway you look at this, other than the President is trying to make it harder for people to vote by mail,” Congressman Ryan said.
Cleveland Councilman Blaine Griffin who represents Ward 6 says, slowing down the processing of the mail is a deliberate effort to interfere in an election, and minorities and seniors want their voices heard.
“Well the timing of this is sinister and quite frankly I have never seen in my lifetime nor have I ever thought that somebody would challenge our democracy and try to negatively impact an election the way this President is trying to right now,” Councilman Griffin said.
He says voting by mail has proven to be safe, and many fear they’ll expose themselves to the coronavirus if they’re forced to vote in person at the polls. “A lot of people don’t want to take that risk again, many are going to vote by mail this time to make sure our vote and our voice is counted,” Councilman Griffin tells 19 News.
A source who is a Cleveland area postal employee says the mail processing equipment has been thrown in the trash, and he says 87 pieces of postal processing equipment nationwide will be decommissioned and disposed of.
Workers are concerned it will not only slow down processing for the election, but affect seniors waiting on prescription drugs to arrive.
President Donald Trump argues his New Postmaster General is trying to stop the tremendous losses that have taken place at the postal service for many years.