Mail-in Ballot Controversy Exposes Electoral Farce

By Mike Talavera

On Thursday, a federal court order effectively stopped US Postal Service operational changes set in motion by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, which critics have said could result in millions of rejected mail-in ballots. A former megadonor of Donald Trump, Dejoy has been on the defensive for the past few months against Democrats who have accused him and the majority Republican postal board of governors of conspiring to aid Trump’s reelection by not properly preparing for an influx of mail-in votes due to the pandemic.

The bickering over the Postal Service’s role in the presidential race is an attempt by the ruling class parties to sensationalize the election as a way to garner interest, but in doing so they have exposed another charade of the electoral farce.

The controversy began when the Postal Service sent out letters in July to state election officials recommending that they all move deadlines for requesting mail-in ballots to 15 days before the election, which is longer than many current state deadlines. Democrats have jumped on this move as an obvious act of Republican sabotage to thwart Democratic voters (according to one poll 47 percent of Biden supporters have said they intend to vote by mail, versus 11 percent of Trump supporters). Dejoy, who was appointed in May, serves as a convenient villain for the Democrat narrative.

Dejoy came from the logistics industry and has a long, documented record of workers suffering under his management. Union busting, sexual harassment, and grueling workloads that led to miscarriages and at least one death are some of the business practices that Dejoy oversaw in the decades before his current role as Postmaster General.

Earlier this month, the monopoly press reported that between 2000 and 2014 Dejoy had reimbursed employees at his company New Breed Logistics (with company funds) who donated to Republican candidates he was supporting to bring himself prestige as a political fundraiser, a violation of campaign finance laws. XPO Logistics, which bought out New Breed, has made $286 million over the past several years from contracts with the Postal Service, and has seen profits surge since Dejoy, who owns stock in the company, was appointed.

The Postal Service changes made by Dejoy that were halted by this week’s federal order were mostly aimed at cutting costs, which Democrats have concluded will delay mail delivery and impede mail-in voters meeting deadlines. Meanwhile Trump has characterized all mail-in ballots as being inherently “fraudulent” and a means by which Democrats are trying to hijack the election.

Whether voting by mail or in person, the same illusion of choice is being sold to the working class. The point of the mail-in ballot controversy isn’t to resolve a problem in the electoral system, it’s to deceive working people into thinking that this “bug” in the system is what’s taking away their freedom. On the contrary, it’s not the Postal Service but capitalism that prevents the working class from exercising any power in a bourgeois government. Elections are for the ruling class, who decide every four years who becomes the next US president. Power for the proletariat is not something that can be sealed in an envelope or cast in a ballot box; it must be conquered by force in the trenches of class struggle.

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