The USPS is refuting a viral post that suggests shopping on Amazon during their Prime Day event next week could slow down the handling of election mail. The post, which has been circulating online in various formats since last week, encourages people not to shop on Amazon during Prime Day, claiming that the USPS should be focused on delivering ballots, rather than delivering packages.
But a spokesperson for the USPS tells Rolling Stone that the claims are unfounded, explaining that packages are processed on entirely different equipment than mail. The agency says they aren’t anticipating any disruptions from Prime Day to the sending and receiving of ballots for the upcoming presidential election.
“Delivering election mail is our number one priority, and we are 100 percent committed throughout the Postal Service to fulfilling our vital role in the nation’s electoral process by securely and timely delivering all ballots pursuant to our long-established processes and procedures,” the rep tells Rolling Stone, adding that, “The U.S. Postal Service has the capacity to flex its nationwide processing and delivery network to meet surges in volume of mail and packages.”
It’s worth noting that not all Amazon packages are delivered through regular mail. While Amazon works closely with the USPS — a recent Washington Post report revealed the online giant accounted for nearly $3.9 billion in revenue for the postal service last year — it has also been building up its own fleet of delivery drivers over the years, to ease its reliance on the USPS. Amazon also offers two-day shipping on most items for Prime Members, meaning a majority of orders from Prime Day will be shipped out weeks before ballots are due. In other words: you can order that Instant Pot on Prime Day and still ensure that your mail-in ballot gets delivered and counted in time.
Amazon is undoubtedly counting on Prime Day to be successful, to help weather a string of recent bad press. The company confirmed last week that more than 19,000 employees had tested positive for Covid-19, and CEO Jeff Bezos has been under fire for not doing more to address poor working conditions (a group of protestors marched to Bezos’ Beverly Hills mansion just last weekend demanding change). Meanwhile, a new report says Bezos’ wealth increased by $92 billion in the five months between March and August of this year, with the report claiming that he could personally pay each of Amazon’s nearly one million employees a one-time $105,000 bonus and still be as wealthy as he was at the beginning of the pandemic. So while Prime Day could boost Amazon’s fortunes in the press, it will also be boosting Bezos’ bank account as well.
Prime Day takes place October 13th and 14th this year. It’s traditionally been Amazon’s biggest shopping event, surpassing even Black Friday. The company reported more than 175 million items sold during Prime Day 2019, making it the largest shopping event in the company’s history.