Exclusive: Uptown Resident Sends Letter To United States Postal Service Inspector General Regarding Mailbox Removal

August 17, 2020

Hon. Tammy Whitcomb, Inspector General, United States Postal Service OIG, Via email: hotline@uspsoig.gov

Dear Inspector General Whitcomb:

I am a voting age resident of Northern Manhattan in New York State and a candidate for the New York City Council.

I am writing to you about the most urgent of matters: by all appearances, the U.S. Postal Service is undertaking voter suppression activities in New York City. This weekend mailboxes were removed from the streets of West Harlem.

This is a direct attack on the voting rights of the African-Americans who have made this neighborhood home since Reconstruction, and to the Latino community, immigrants and our hardworking families.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most voters will be casting their ballots in the presidential election in November by mail.  Removing mailboxes from the streets will add an unnecessary hurdle to voting, particularly for the West Harlem and Morningside Heights community, whose population is 29% Latino and 22% Black.  This practice violates our fundamental right to vote granted and protected by the U.S. Constitution.

In every election up to now, Harlem residents who voted by absentee ballot could simply slip it into the mailbox on their corner. Removing USPS mailboxes from the streets of Harlem is an affront to justice and equality under the law. It will now require voters to search for, travel to, and line up at their local Post Office to cast their ballots, creating an undue burden — and risk — for some voters, especially senior citizens. Well over 8,500 of New York City residents above 65 years old are estimated to have died from COVID-19.

I urgently request OIG to open an investigation into these voter suppression efforts and violations of the Voting Rights Act. I look forward to your response.


Shaun Abreu

Editor’s note: Harlem World Magazine is bipartisan and does not advocate for elected officials from any political party. We advocate and support our readers and our reader’s best interest.

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