The Postal Service did not respond to USA TODAY’s request for records of boxes removed this year. Comparing a list of mail collection boxes the Postal Service released in September 2019 to those listed on the agency’s website this month showed a reduction of more than 4,200.
Even if this year’s removals track with historical averages, 2020 has been anything but a normal year. Some voting rights experts question why the Postal Service would remove any mailbox during a pandemic when more voters than ever are expected to cast ballots by mail.
“Why now? Why not wait until after the election?” said Bernard Fraga, associate professor of political science at Emory University.
“It’s a lifeline for a lot of people,” said Brett Max Kaufman, a senior staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union.