Bennet Amendment Would Keep Rural Post Offices Open Through Election Day to Protect Vote by Mail

With the 2012 election approaching, United States Postal Service closures and consolidations of postal facilities pose a particularly serious risk to states like Colorado that rely on vote-by-mail for their federal and state elections. With that in mind, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet has cosponsored an amendment to put a moratorium on the closing or consolidation of postal facilities until after the election in states that conduct elections entirely by mail or allow any voter to vote no-excuse absentee.  

The amendment also requires the Postal Service to notify election officials of closings and consolidations; and require that the Postal Service study the effect of closing or consolidating a mail processing facility on the ability of the affected community to vote by mail.

“With so many Coloradans dependent on mail-in ballots to vote, we can’t allow anyone to be disenfranchised by proposed postal facility closures so close to an election,” said Bennet. “This amendment will help ensure that voting by mail can still run efficiently and fairly to protect the health of our democracy and one of our most important rights – the right to vote.”

Changes in postal procedures could delay the delivery and receipt of vote-by-mail ballots as well as other election related material during a point in the calendar where such risks are not necessary to take.

The amendment was introduced by Barbara Boxer of California, Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon, Dianne Feinstein of California, Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Jon Tester of Montana and also cosponsored by Senators Max Baucus of Montana and Sherrod Brown of Ohio.