The Nevada Independent

Nuestro estado. Nuestras noticias. Nuestra voz.

The Nevada Independent

Despite Nevada opposition, USPS to move key mail operations from Reno to Sacramento

The decision follows bipartisan opposition over the plan’s potential impact on the region’s economy and mail ballots.
Eric Neugeboren
Eric Neugeboren
CongressGovernmentState Government

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is moving forward with its plan to transfer certain mail processing operations from Reno to Sacramento, a change that has drawn bipartisan opposition among Nevada elected officials over its potential impact on the region’s economy and fears that it would slow the processing of mail ballots.

The USPS said Tuesday that its Reno building will be converted into a local processing center — a facility that prepares mail before it is placed on carrier routes. The agency will also spend up to $13.4 million in Reno for new workplace amenities and expanded distribution capabilities, but said “the business case” supported moving other operations to California because most of the mail processed in Reno is destined for outside the region.

The change means that all mail sent from Northern Nevada will pass through Sacramento before reaching its destination. The proposal prompted fierce pushback from state and federal officials — including Gov. Joe Lombardo and Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar — who argued that severe winter weather between the two cities could make it difficult for mail to be delivered efficiently (there is only one interstate route between Sacramento and Reno, and it is sometimes closed during snowy conditions over the Donner Pass) and that it could adversely affect people who use the Postal Service to receive necessary goods, such as medication. 

The USPS also said Tuesday that the change would not result in any layoffs of career employees, though it is unknown how many pre-career employees — entry-level positions — might be affected. A document from a USPS employee obtained by The Nevada Independent shows that the USPS expects the change to affect up to 67 career positions, which could include employee reassignments.

Officials have also raised concerns that it could affect the processing of widely used mail ballots, which under state law can be counted as long as they are postmarked by Election Day and received up to four days after the election. In a statement Tuesday, Aguilar said the Postal Service is “negligently interfer[ing] with functions vital to the electoral process.”

“Representatives from across Nevada have laid out the many logistical issues this move will bring, and I hope the USPS will reconsider this decision and instead invest further into existing Northern Nevada operations,” the statement read.

The Postal Service’s statement on Tuesday did not mention mail-in ballots, but the agency had previously said that the change would have no impact on the timeliness of mail delivery.

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) told reporters earlier this month that USPS officials said the implementation plan could begin in January, in which case mail ballots cast this year would not be affected.

Lombardo said in a statement that his administration “will continue to fight against mismanagement in Washington for timely and efficient mail services for Nevadans.”

Rosen said Tuesday that she “would explore all available options to prevent it from being implemented,” and said she is “outraged that out-of-touch Washington bureaucrats think they know what’s best for our state.” Rosen sits on the Senate committee that oversees the Postal Service.

In February, Rosen, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV) wrote a letter to the Postal Service, requesting more information on a potential move’s impact on mail service reliability, mail-in ballots, the region’s economy and Postal Service jobs.

Weeks later, USPS officials held a briefing that Rosen panned as unhelpful. She told reporters that officials did not answer many questions directly and did not provide some of the data that the delegation asked for. 

At a tense Senate hearing last week, Rosen accused Postmaster General Louis DeJoy of withholding information on how the agency determined that the proposal was necessary.

The USPS said Tuesday that the finalized plan came “following a thorough business review and solicitation of public feedback.”

Updated on 4/23/24 at 5:20 p.m. to include a statement from Lombardo and at 5:42 p.m. to include potential impacts on USPS employees.


Featured Videos

7455 Arroyo Crossing Pkwy Suite 220 Las Vegas, NV 89113
Privacy PolicyRSSContactNewslettersSupport our Work
The Nevada Independent is a project of: Nevada News Bureau, Inc. | Federal Tax ID 27-3192716