House bill HR 152, also known as the “Arabic Numeral Standardization Act” has officially passed the house and is now the law of the land.
Originally proposed by Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the new law aims to standardize all United States mail to use only Arabic numerals. The United States Postal Service will be required to reject any and all mail that does not use Arabic numerals for street addresses, P.O. boxes, and zip codes.
The legislation was first proposed in order to “eliminate discrimination against those of Arabic descent” and to be in line with other countries that have long been using Arabic numerals, such as Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, North Korea, Liechtenstein, and Germany. Moreover, as USPS spokesperson Don Galloway explains, Arabic numerals are also easier to machine read:
“American numbers have too many squiggles and jiggles and are often misread by our sorting machines, especially when hand written. For example, the numbers 3 and 8, as well as 5 and 6 are often mixed up. As a result too much mail was being delivered to the wrong address.
In Arabic the numbers 3 and 8 would be “٣ and ٨”, and 5 and 6 are written as “٥ and ٦”. As you can clearly see, unlike American numbers, there is a clear distinction and less chance of confusion.
For those and other reasons the US Postal Service will being rejecting all mail that does not use Arabic numerals beginning next month. Any mail not found using the new numbering system will be returned to sender.”
An anticipated side effect could well be that potentially millions of mail-in ballots will be rejected during the election, as states will have to adapt to the new numbering system and it is unclear whether they will be able to do so in time.
White House spokesperson Joe Barron said that the president was considering a veto, but that it was unlikely to succeed due to overwhelming support for the new law in the Senate:
“The president just doesn’t understand why Americans should have to use Arabic numerals. For centuries now Americans have been using American numbers, just like the ones in the constitution and in the bible, not to mention the page numbers in Penthouse Magazine. All I can say to Omar and Tlaib is: see you in court.
On the other hand, the president is pleased that the new numbering system could lead to delays in mail in ballot processing and ballots being rejected. As we all know, this will be a rigged election, and anything we can do to stop it from being rigged is a plus. So the president is open to testing the new numbering system in blue states to see if it works.”
And there you have it. Our mail system has been changed forever. One can only hope that rural Potatriots will be able to learn Arabic numerals in time for the election.