State reps demand answers after reports of ‘mountain’ of undelivered packages, mail in North Sound

With election day Tuesday, widespread reports of postal delays around northwest Washington have prompted state representatives Suzan DelBene and Rick Larsen to call for the USPS to address the mail failures.

Pictures recently posted to social media show hundreds of packages stacked up and uncovered behind the Ferndale post office.

According to a joint media release from DelBene and Larsen, they have received more than 170 complaints from Lynden residents and additional complaints in Whatcom, Snohomish and Island counties about delayed mail and packages containing medication, bills and passports.

People in Everett have raised concern they have not been receiving daily mail deliveries for weeks, and people in Ferndale haven’t received mail deliveries for over a week.

The complaints also address hours-long waits at post offices, undelivered mail and election ballots not delivered or picked up.

“When our constituents have asked USPS about the delayed mail delivery, they’ve been repeatedly told that USPS is experiencing severe staffing shortages,” the release said. “We’ve heard that the one-year retention rate for USPS employees for our region may be as low as 34 percent. While we understand that the entire country is grappling with workforce shortages, we believe there are steps USPS can take in the short-term to boost hiring, training, and retention. We deeply appreciate and commend the great work of the USPS employees who are working tirelessly amid these challenging conditions and urge the agency to do more to support these workers.”

Delays in election ballots are a concern to the representatives, as election day is Tuesday.

In a letter to USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, DelBene and Larsen asked the USPS to detail the steps the USPS is taking to address the delivery and return of election mail in the state.

They also asked what the USPS were taking to address staffing shortages and whether Congress could provide help.

Nick Martin, communications director for Congresswoman DelBene, said USPS had received the letter and are monitoring the situation. A formal response from the USPS is expected.