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Leaders in Goleta voice concerns after removal of USPS mailboxes

Posted at 6:31 PM, Aug 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-19 01:17:35-04

Ongoing concerns over changes at the U.S. Postal Service that some worry could have an effect on the upcoming election have made their way to the Central Coast.

Santa Barbara County and Goleta city leaders said they received thousands of complaints after the post office in Goleta removed two drop-off mailboxes last week.

Residents said were confused and concerned as to why they were removed in the first place.

"Literally, I drove by in the morning and it was there and I drove by in the afternoon and there was nothing there," said Heather Howard.

On Tuesday, Rep. Salud Carbajal along with Goleta city leaders held a press conference to discuss the complaints following the removal of the boxes.

Residents stood outside holding signs that read "Blue mailboxes matter" and "Fund USPS."

With more people expected to vote by mail this year due to COVID-19, Santa Barbara County leaders say the role the U.S. Postal Service plays is critical.

"As the November election draws near, it is vital that Americans feel confident that their election mail will be received and delivered in a timely fashion," Rep. Carbajal said.

The Santa Barbara County Elections Office says the ongoing issue with the U.S. Postal Service can be concerning but they say they are working on getting 30 new ballot drop boxes this upcoming election.

"We are doing everything we can to make sure that everybody has a chance to get their ballot returned and counted and be able to do it safely," said Joseph Holland, Santa Barbara County Registrar of Voters.

Holland also encourages people to track their voting ballots if they are concerned.

Rep. Carbajal says the importance of voting early is critical, especially this year.

"We are encouraging everybody to vote as soon as they are able to ensure there are no glitches and that their votes are counted, just to make sure," he said.

The mailboxes were replaced, but it's still unknown why they were removed in the first place.

Carbajal stated he will return to Washington, D.C. on Saturday to vote on the Delivery for America Act which will prohibit the USPS from implementing any changes to operations or levels of service.