Saturday postal deliveries to end on August 5
As a nationwide budget-balancing measure, the United States Postal Service has announced that it will no longer deliver Saturday mail. Washington Postmaster John Marshall confirmed today that, along with all the other post offices in the country, the Washington office would cease deliveries on Aug. 5.
Marshall said that he had been given instructions not to comment on the matter. He referred questions to postal service business agent Rich Watkins in Kansas City, Mo.
“Honestly, we don’t know anything yet,” he said.
Watkins was not available for comment early this afternoon.
The financially struggling postal service announced on Feb. 6 that the move is expected to save $2 billion annually. The agency reportedly lost $16 billion last year. The service blames much of its recent financial troubles on a 2006 law that requires payments to its future retirees’ health care fund. Another factor commented on is reduced volumes of mail from people who are increasingly turning to online communications.
Washington County Auditor Dan Widmer said today that he has concerns that the end of Saturday delivery could impact absentee voting. He said that during the last election, ballots came pouring in the final weekend before Election Day.
“I think it will have an impact,” Widmer said. “There has been some discussion on changing deadlines of things like when ballots can be counted due to the halting of Saturday deliveries, as well as some of the other changes they are considering.”
He feels the public will see a lot of changes in absentee voting as a result of the post office ceasing Saturday deliveries.
The postal service is facing other resistance to the changes. Trade organizations that have a stake in Saturday mail, such as the Greeting Card Association and the National Association of Letter Carriers, have objected.
The Associated Press contributed to this story