Who is Louis DeJoy? Postmaster General may be key to victory in 2020 election with expansion of mail delivery
Now that he has been ordered to expand mail delivery with extra trips and later deliveries, it will be worth watching how he plays a role in managing the voting system
As the United States is just days away from the November 3 elections, it is bracing its mail in the voting system. Now, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has been ordered to immediately begin expanding mail delivery with extra trips and later deliveries by a US District judge. This comes after the U.S. Postal Service failed to boost performance less than a week before the election.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan October 28 granted an emergency request to enforce and monitor the mail-in voting system. “USPS personnel are instructed to perform late and extra trips to the maximum extent necessary to increase on-time mail deliveries, particularly for election mail,” Sullivan said. “To be clear, late and extra trips should be performed to the same or greater degree than they were performed prior to July 2020 when doing so would increase on-time mail deliveries.”
The ruling came after on-time delivery of First Class mail dropped to 69.8% on October 28. This is down more than 6 percentage points from previous days, the USPS said. The move also comes as the US sees an increase in the use of mail-in ballots amidst the Covid-9 pandemic which put USPS under immense pressure on processing the millions of extra ballots ahead of elections.
Sullivan gave postmaster DeJoy until October 30, to distribute guidance to USPS leadership across the country with state-specific ballot-receipt deadlines. He is told to remind USPS of the need to “ensure that completed ballots reach the appropriate election official by the state’s designated deadline.” USPS spokesman Dave Partenheimer said in a statement that the postal service is complying with the court order and taking its legal obligations “very seriously.” He added, “We are deploying extraordinary measures — expedited handling, extra deliveries and special pickups — consistent with practices used in past elections to accelerate the delivery of ballots to its intended destination.”
Now as DeJoy is given the responsibility to ensure a fair and systematic mail-in voting system, here we look at his profile.
Who is Louis DeJoy?
Louis DeJoy is an American businessman and 75th U.S. Postmaster General. He assumed the office of postmaster general at the United States Postal Service on June 16, 2020. The 63-year-old grew up in New York City and graduated from Stetson University with a business degree. After that DeJoy had planned to embark on a career as a certified public accountant but instead took over his father’s failing trucking business on Long Island.
Reports show that Dejoy’s connection with postal services started when he built his own company named New Breed Logistics. It all began in the 1980s when DeJoy built that company from scratch with just ten employees that later gained prominence as a national logistics and supply-chain services provider based in North Carolina. By 2014, the company New Breed Logistics had over 7,000 employees as reported by the New York Times.
The publication reported that DeJoy and his wife, Aldona Wos, have key investments in companies that do business with or compete with the USPS. The publication reports that DeJoy has both been criticized and praised for handling work at USPS as postmaster general. “His supporters point to his success in building up New Breed Logistics as evidence that he has the business know-how to solve the Postal Service’s financial problems. Critics say he is unqualified to oversee a vast organization of more than a half-million employees, whose mission is to provide a vital public service, not earn profits”, New York Times reports.
Coming to his political connections, DeJoy has long been a major financial supporter of the Republican Party, the New York Times reported. Before becoming postmaster general in 2020, the businessman was a deputy national fund-raising chairman for the G.O.P. DeJoy had hosted several events and fund-raisers for Republican presidential candidates and presidents since 2006, New Times reported. The publication mentions that since 2016, Mr. DeJoy has donated $1.2 million to President Donald Trump’s campaign coffers and nearly $1.3 million to the Republican Party.
Ahead of the US elections, Postmaster General has drawn flak for some changes he has made at the USPS since assuming the position on June 15, 2020. New York Times reports about the changes brought by him that have allegedly slowed down mail service ahead of elections. “The changes — including eliminating employee overtime, removing mail-sorting machines from postal facilities around the country, and reorganizing or eliminating Postal Service leadership — have slowed mail service in some areas and sparked concerns over whether the service will be able to handle the historically high volumes of mailed ballots expected in the November election.”
Despite criticism, DeJoy has argued that the changes are important to help the Postal Service become financially stable. USPS has struggled economically for years, and its financial issues have just been mounted up by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Now that he has been ordered to expand mail delivery with extra trips and later deliveries, it will be worth watching how he plays a role in managing the voting system.