Nowhere, perhaps, has the deluge of glossy political mail hit harder than local post offices. At the North Glendale station, mail volume has soared 42% above what it was last year at this time, forcing postal carriers to work an average of two hours overtime each day, according to Terri Bouffiou, a spokeswoman for the U.S Postal Service.
"I can't wait until Nov. 8," said station manager Ramela Younekian, who has been pulling 14-hour days and said she has not seen her 2-year-old daughter for two weeks. The toddler is always asleep when Younekian leaves for work early in the morning and stumbles home late in the evening.
North Glendale's 20 mail carriers are also feeling the strain. It's not that their bags are heavier--postal service rules bar them from lugging more than 35 pounds at a time. But they have to sort most of the political mail by hand because their automatic sorting machines are rigged to read envelopes, not thin, glossy fliers plastered with colorful photos.
"I'm tired," said one mail carrier, who did not want to be named. "I just want to go home."
Meanwhile, the hard-core campaign crusaders have no intention of heading home, not yet. Back on West Dryden Street, the indefatigable Molina knocked on another door, his bag brimming with "Frommer for Assembly" fliers.
When a woman wearing a long T-shirt answered, Molina asked to speak to the registered Democrat whose name was listed on his chart.
"She's deceased. She died," the woman said. "She's dead."
"I'm sorry to hear that," Molina replied without missing a beat. "If you don't mind, I'd like to give you this literature . . . "