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Worried voters are buying stamps to fund Postal Service

In this Dec. 5, 2011, photo, a customer places first-class stamps on envelopes at a U.S. Post Office in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

(CNN) — The U.S. Postal Service implemented procedural changes this month, with modifications that will slow delivery and capacity as the U.S. gears up for the November election. In response, Americans are flocking to the Postal Service’s website to buy merchandise in an effort to support it.

The website has a wide range of products available for purchase including: sweatshirts, T-shirts, kids’ costumes, dog costumes, tote bags, stamps and toy trucks.

The website is having a “flash sale” through the end of Sunday with an offer of 50% off select retail items. And many of the products are already sold out. The express mail T-shirt, USPS backpack, blue hoodie sweatshirt and Earth Day coasters are all labeled as “discontinued” on the website.

Under Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s administration, the Postal Service has slowed delivery, removed high-speed letter sorters from commission and issued a stark warning to election officials that mail-in ballots will no longer automatically be moved as priority mail. The postal service has also started reducing post office operating hours across several states, cut overtime for postal workers and removed some of their iconic blue letter collection boxes.

The stakes are high in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election — more people are expected to vote by mail versus in polling places because of the risk of coronavirus, and some states have adjusted voting laws to make it easier to do so. Although the Postal Service has repeatedly tried to reassure voters they can handle the influx of mail-in ballots, it has sent warnings to nearly every state that slowdowns in delivery could cause ballots to show up late and not be counted.

Democrats are now increasing demands that DeJoy rescind his changes as the Postal Service begins to prepare for a flood of mail-in ballots.

Comedian Billy Eichner tweeted his support for the Postal Service, saying, “Nothing says summer like ordering stamps while crying.”

Lisa Kovitz, a managing director at Edelman in New York City, buys stamps often and she recently bought a T-shirt from the USPS website. “While my purchase is small, I wanted to help,” she told CNN Business. Kovitz also noted that she often buys from eBay sellers who primarily rely on the post office.

The American Postal Workers Union is continuing to share its support for the Postal Service on Twitter. On Sunday, the union tweeted, “The Postal Service handles 3 billion pieces of mail in the week before Christmas. An election won’t be a problem – as long as DeJoy lets postal workers do our job!”

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