Nearly 80 percent of the 3,830 U.S. post offices slated for closure later this year are in sparsely populated areas where poverty rates are higher than the national average, according to our findings in the special report “Towns go dark with post office closings.”
One-third of them fall in areas with limited or no wired broadband Internet, leaving 1.7 million people in the lurch. One of them is Carlos Sandoval, a rancher in Trinchera, Colorado, who relies on his post office for everything except groceries.
The closures will strike at the economic heart of many of these communities, but they will also hit the reputation of a Postal Service expected to serve all. And although there is not much noise about the impending closures in Washington, those who know about the toll they will take are not mincing words.
“The postmaster general doesn’t have a clue about what’s going on in rural America, and it shows,” said U.S. Senator Jon Tester, a Democrat from Montana.