“At least 20 states plan to file lawsuits this week against the U.S. Postal Service and its new postmaster, Louis DeJoy, seeking to reverse service changes that have prompted widespread reports of delays and accusations of an intentional effort to thwart voters from mailing their ballots this fall,” the Washington Post reports.
“The suits, expected to be filed in federal court imminently, will argue that the Postal Service broke the law by making operational changes without first seeking approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission. They will also argue that the changes will impede states’ ability to run free and fair elections.”
CNBC: GOP and Trump ties run deep on the U.S. Postal Service’s board of governors.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said in a statement on Tuesday that he would halt operational changes and cost-cutting to the U.S. Postal Service until after the 2020 election to “avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail.”
Why it matters: Widespread delays and backlogs had prompted allegations from Democratic lawmakers that DeJoy and President Trump were attempting to undermine the Postal Service ahead of an election that will see a record number of mail-in ballots.
- The House was poised to return to session on Saturday to pass USPS-related legislation, and DeJoy had been called to testify before both the House and Senate.
- President Trump has suggested that the USPS won’t be able to handle “universal” mail-in ballots, which he has baselessly claimed will lead to a “rigged” election, without extra funding.
Between the lines: The USPS alerted 46 states and Washington, D.C. at the end of July that it cannot ensure ballots sent by mail in the general election will arrive in time to be counted. Dejoy’s statement does not address what changes the service has made since the letters were sent.
What he’s saying: “I came to the Postal Service to make changes to secure the success of this organization and its long-term sustainability. I believe significant reforms are essential to that objective, and work toward those reforms will commence after the election.”
- “In the meantime, there are some longstanding operational initiatives — efforts that predate my arrival at the Postal Service — that have been raised as areas of concern as the nation prepares to hold an election in the midst of a devastating pandemic. “
- “To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded.”