HOUSTON – As lawmakers in Washington battle over the fate and funding of the United States Postal Service, Harris County’s head election official is trying to reassure voters their local post office is up to the challenge of handling ballots by mail this fall.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called her members back into session from August recess to vote this weekend on a $25 billion boost to the USPS.
Pelosi said cuts made by the Trump administration to the Postal Service, including the removal of sorting machines and mailboxes, are intentionally designed to negatively impact the use of voting by mail in November and disenfranchise voters.
“We’re working with local postal leaders to ensure your mail ballots are going to be sent thru in an efficient way and that they find their way to our office and that your voice is heard and that your voice is going to be counted,” Hollins told KPRC 2.
Hollins said due to the coronavirus pandemic he is expecting unprecedented use of ballots by mail.
“It remains the safest most convenient way to vote, not only for you being able to sit down at your dinner table or at your sofa to cast your vote safely but also for the other people who are voting in person because that’s one less person in line in front of them and one less person who they might be exposed to when they come to vote in person,” Hollins said.
He added he is in talks with Toyota Center to use the currently empty facility as a polling location to aid with social distancing and high voter turnout.
Plans are already underway to move Harris County’s election headquarters to NRG Arena, which will also be used as a voting center for in-person and drive-thru voting.