A column by U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill
There are a lot of head-scratchers I come across in Congress, and every time I think I’ve seen it all, I’m blown away by a new example of government waste or just plain stupidity. The latest addition to my list is that there are folks who live in Missouri, have Missouri drivers licenses, vote in Missouri — but for some reason they have Iowa mailing addresses.
The federal government should be able to put people in the right state. From the outreach my office has done so far, we’ve figured out that some Missouri residents in at least seven Missouri counties along the Iowa border have mailing addresses in Iowa. This issue is more than just a weird quirk — it’s causing headaches and inconveniences for those affected.
We’ve talked to officials in some of the affected counties and have heard some outrageous, maddening stories. One Missouri resident struggled to get her husband into hospice care because of the address issue. Students have had problems getting in-state tuition at Missouri colleges, a county clerk has had trouble registering some of these Missourians to vote, and small business owners have had to jump through unnecessary hoops. One family had issues with obtaining a death certificate after a loved one passed away, another struggled with insurance coverage after their house burned down, and others have had complications getting government documents like birth certificates.
It’s time we fixed this problem. I serve as a leader on the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has oversight over the United States Postal Service. So I’ve gotten the chance to work with them on improving postal delivery times and making sure mail isn’t getting lost, and now I’m in talks with them to get this Missouri-Iowa issue fixed once and for all.
I’ve sat down with the Postmaster General to share the stories of the affected Missourians, and she’s promised me that she will make changes so that everyone has a postal address that matches the state they live in. I also introduced a bill earlier this year that will require the United States Postal Service to make good on this promise.
This issue should never have happened in the first place, and I’m going to continue to get to the bottom of it. I know how proud I am to be a Missourian, and I will make sure that every single Missourian’s mailing address reflects that they live in our great state.
U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill is the senior senator from Missouri.