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Sen. Warner says he's 'cautiously optimistic' about mail in Charlottesville

Randi B. Hagi

Senator Mark Warner returned to Charlottesville Thursday to evaluate mail delivery there. He said he’s cautiously optimistic.  WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

Senator Mark Warner came to meet with local postal officials and hear how they're addressing the mail delivery delays that have plagued the Charlottesville area for months. In early October, the USPS had brought in dozens of extra mail carriers for a weekend blitz to try and deliver the huge backlogs of mail.

As of today --

MARK WARNER: I can tell you, from the back office operation, it looked much more organized, much cleaner, much different than before.

Warner said that an acting postmaster that had been brought on in August had now been replaced by a new acting postmaster from D.C.

WARNER: They've brought in two other senior post office officials: one on integration and one on operation. … They and the new postmaster are here -- what has been described as -- for as long as they're needed.

Since August 15th, Warner said the post office has hired four clerks, eight city mail carriers, and 10 rural carriers for the Charlottesville-Albemarle area, and there are another 20 potential new hires pending background checks. Additionally, 11 retired postal workers are coming back for the holiday surge. They'll be joined by 21 postal employees from around the state who will temporarily be assigned to delivering packages around Charlottesville through the holidays.

WARNER:  I am cautiously optimistic. As I said at the outset, I think we have their attention.

He was also told by postal officials that any mail-in ballots that were postmarked by election day will be delivered by noon Friday as is required for them to be counted.

Randi B. Hagi first joined the WMRA team in 2019 as a freelance reporter. Her writing and photography have been featured in The Harrisonburg Citizen, where she previously served as the assistant editor; as well as The Mennonite; Mennonite World Review; and Eastern Mennonite University's Crossroads magazine.
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