U.S. Markets closed
  • S&P 500

    4,395.64
    +41.45 (+0.95%)
     
  • Dow 30

    34,258.32
    +338.48 (+1.00%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    14,896.85
    +150.45 (+1.02%)
     
  • Russell 2000

    2,218.56
    +32.38 (+1.48%)
     
  • Gold

    1,768.40
    -9.80 (-0.55%)
     
  • Silver

    23.03
    +0.46 (+2.05%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.1696
    -0.0034 (-0.2924%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.3360
    +0.0120 (+0.91%)
     
  • Vix

    20.87
    -3.49 (-14.33%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3619
    -0.0045 (-0.3282%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    109.7800
    +0.5600 (+0.5127%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    42,700.71
    +469.34 (+1.11%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,089.55
    +49.07 (+4.72%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    7,083.37
    +102.39 (+1.47%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    29,639.40
    -200.31 (-0.67%)
     

2020 in Review: The Year for the USPS

·5 min read
Clarion, PA / United States - February 25 2018: USPS boxes in a row outside the post office.
Clarion, PA / United States - February 25 2018: USPS boxes in a row outside the post office.

The U.S. Postal Service had a lot to contend with this year between a pandemic, an election that relied heavily on mail-in ballots and a change in leadership that resulted in some questionable restructuring and policy changes. The agency — which should be apolitical — got caught in the crosshairs of party issues, with allegations that President Donald Trump was withholding funding to the organization as a way to suppress mail-in voting.

The USPS Is Still Popular: Top 10 Most-Loved Brands of 2020

With all of the changes and stressors caused by the pandemic, the USPS is now calling “for aggressive management action, innovation and legislative and regulatory reforms,” according to its most recent fiscal report. Take a look back at the agency’s tumultuous year that led it to this point.

Last updated: Dec. 17, 2020

Chicago, USA - September 10, 2015: A USPS deliveryman sorting in the back of his truck on LaSalle street in the Loop late in the day.
Chicago, USA - September 10, 2015: A USPS deliveryman sorting in the back of his truck on LaSalle street in the Loop late in the day.

April: USPS Says It Will Run Out of Cash Without Government Assistance

In a video briefing released in April, the USPS warned Congress that the agency will “run out of cash” by the end of September if lawmakers do not step in with financial assistance, CNN reported. The agency projected it could see revenue losses of $13 billion due to the pandemic.

See: The 30 Most Powerful Unions in America

THE SEA RANCH, CALIFORNIA - October 21, 2018: Voting ballot: Absentee voting by mail with ballot envelope.
THE SEA RANCH, CALIFORNIA - October 21, 2018: Voting ballot: Absentee voting by mail with ballot envelope.

May: Trump Claims Voting by Mail Can Lead To Widespread Fraud

On May 26, Trump tweeted: “There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed.”

Twitter flagged the tweets for making “unsubstantiated claims.”

Related: All the Ways the Trumps Have Made Money Over the Past 20 Years

June: Louis DeJoy Becomes US Postmaster

On June 15, longtime Trump supporter and fundraiser Louis DeJoy started his new job as U.S. postmaster.

“I look forward to working with supporters of the Postal Service in Congress and the administration to ensure the Postal Service remains an integral part of the United States government,” DeJoy said in a release, according to CNN. “It will be an incredible honor to serve as postmaster general, and I commit myself to upholding the Postal Service’s cherished role in our nation.”

Read: President Trump’s 18 Surprising Spending Habits

Hand putting Jefferson County Colorado election ballot envelope into ballot drop box in early voting mail election.
Hand putting Jefferson County Colorado election ballot envelope into ballot drop box in early voting mail election.

July: USPS Warns States It May Not Be Able To Deliver Ballots on Time

In letters sent to numerous states, the USPS warned that deadlines for requesting and casting mail-in ballots outlined in state laws were “incongruous” with the Postal Service’s delivery standards. Because of this, there would be a risk that ballots requested near deadlines wouldn’t be returned in time to be counted.

Discover: How the Stock Market Is Responding To Biden’s Win

sending envelope in mail box
sending envelope in mail box

August: USPS Faces Criticism for Removing Collection Boxes and Sorting Machines

On Aug. 16, the USPS announced it would no longer be removing collection boxes through November, following complaints that some had been taken away in the lead up to Election Day, CNN reported. That same day, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said that the USPS will also stop dismantling mail-sorting machines. Both moves were part of DeJoy’s USPS restructuring plan.

Look Back: 15 Most Memorable Moments of This Wild Election Year

United States Congress capital building
United States Congress capital building

August: House Approves $25 Billion in Funding for USPS

On Aug. 22, the House approved legislation that would provide $25 billion to the U.S. Postal Service to help get mail delivery back on track. The bill banned operational changes that had slowed mail service around the country.

Learn: How the National Debt Hits Your Wallet Every Day

Scales of justice and Gavel on wooden table and Lawyer or Judge working with agreement in Courtroom, Justice and Law concept.
Scales of justice and Gavel on wooden table and Lawyer or Judge working with agreement in Courtroom, Justice and Law concept.

September: House Oversight Committee Subpoenas DeJoy

In early September, the House Oversight Committee subpoenaed DeJoy over documents he had allegedly been withholding from Congress, CNN reported.

During a hearing on Aug. 24, the committee requested documents on the changes made to the Postal Service that had caused widespread mail delays across the U.S. by Aug. 26, and DeJoy missed the deadline.

Find Out: How Joe Biden Earned His Millions

portable official ballot drop off box for the CA presidential primary, outside the library in downtown Laguna Beach, CA.
portable official ballot drop off box for the CA presidential primary, outside the library in downtown Laguna Beach, CA.

September: Federal Judge Blocks USPS Policy Changes

In mid-September, Judge Stanley Bastian in eastern Washington’s U.S. District Court issued a decision to temporarily block the USPS and DeJoy from changing any policies or protocols ahead of November’s presidential election, CNN reported. Notably, Bastian wanted to block a change implemented by DeJoy that would significantly restrict late and extra trips.

“Although not necessarily apparent on the surface, at the heart of DeJoy’s and the Postal Service’s actions is voter disenfranchisement,” Bastian wrote in the decision.

Read: What a Biden Presidency Means for Your Wallet

Seattle, USA – April 13, 2020: Late in the day a mailman wearing a mask crossing the street by Pike Place Market at the height of the Coronavirus city wide shutdown.
Seattle, USA – April 13, 2020: Late in the day a mailman wearing a mask crossing the street by Pike Place Market at the height of the Coronavirus city wide shutdown.

October: Federal Judge Increases Oversight of USPS To Ensure Timely Delivery of Ballots

A week ahead of Election Day, Judge Emmet Sullivan of the D.C. District Court gave U.S. Postal Service leadership a set of orders to ensure the timely delivery of ballots, CNN reported. Sullivan told the Postal Service to inform its employees that late and extra delivery trips are permitted, and the delivery of ballots by state deadlines is important.

Plan Ahead: How Investors Need To Prepare For a Biden Presidency

Absent voter ballot application.
Absent voter ballot application.

November: Postal Service Says 300,000 Ballots Have Not Been Scanned for Delivery

On Election Day, a Federal District Court judge ordered an immediate sweep of 12 postal districts to find undelivered ballots after the Postal Service said in court that about 300,000 ballots it had received had not been scanned for delivery, The New York Times reported. The sweep was ordered to begin before 3 p.m. to “ensure that no ballots have been held up and that any identified ballots are immediately sent out for delivery.”

Big Bucks: How Much Money Was Actually Spent on This Election

Amazon delivery boxes on doorstep
Amazon delivery boxes on doorstep

November: USPS Reports Significant Mail Volume Decline for the Year

In its 2020 fiscal year report, the USPS stated that mail volume had declined by 13.8 billion pieces, accelerated by the pandemic. On the plus side, package volume grew by nearly 1.2 billion pieces — 18.8% — compared to the previous year due to the surge in e-commerce.

More From GOBankingRates

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 2020 in Review: The Year for the USPS