The U.S. Postal Service is still deciding whether it will close hundreds of mail processing center across the country. Communities that may be affected by the closures have expressed concern about a multitude of negative consequences that may arise if the postal services are eliminated.
The Arizona Daily Star reports that in the case of the Tohono O’odham Nation, the consequence could be an interruption in voting rights.
The loss of the center would mean fewer days to get mail-in ballots in across Arizona.
But it would be worse for voters in the Tohono O’odham Nation, (county recorder F. Ann Rodriguez) said.
The only post office in the 4,460-square-mile nation is in Sells, and there is no home delivery or pickup. It would take a week or more for a voter in a remote area to pick up a ballot at a post office box in Sells, and he or she would have less than 10 days to mark the ballot and return it, Rodriguez said.
“There is no question that the changes proposed by the postal service will impact Native American voters far more extensively than the voters in the metropolitan areas,” Rodriguez said in a letter to the Postal Service.
The Postal Service disputes these numbers, but local officials continue to take action.
The Pima County Board of Supervisors plans to vote today on a resolution to oppose the plant closure because of the potential for “disenfranchising Native American voters,” among other reasons.
The draft resolution states that Pima County stands to lose 440 jobs, $30 million in economic activity and $4.8 million in federal, state and local tax revenue.