The 2020 election will likely result in more mail-in ballots than ever before as states relax their voting eligibility requirements. The increase in mail-in voting has the potential to shift voter demographics in this country. Some politicians are stoking the age-old fear of mail fraud and disrupting the trusted institution of the United States Postal Service. However, fraud related to mail-in ballots occurs at a rate of less than 0.001 percent. Will this undermining of the Postal Service’s integrity affect Americans’ views of the longstanding importance and reputability of postal workers?
Our ways of communication have dramatically shifted since the start of the postal system, yet its importance to democracy continues. This year, 2020, marks the fiftieth anniversary of the 1970 postal strike. Various unions represented workers in their call for fair working conditions and compensation. Heeding the voice of the workers, nationwide reforms led to the transition from the postal department to the Postal Service, a fortified institution capable of prompt, reliable, and efficient services while meeting their demands. The following year, the American Postal Workers Union formed, consolidating unions across the country. This reward poster was made in 1971, on the heels of these major structural changes. Mail theft could now be addressed with renewed diligence.