A New York judge ordered the U.S. Postal Service to prioritize election mail Monday and to approve overtime for postal workers.
U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in Manhattan wrote in his decision that postal workers should be allowed to make extra deliveries and work overtime before the November election so election mail can be delivered as quickly as possible, the Associated Press reported.
“The right to vote is too vital a value in our democracy to be left in a state of suspense in the minds of voters weeks before a presidential election, raising doubts as to whether their votes will ultimately be counted,” Marrero said, according to the AP.
The judge blamed Postmaster Louis DeJoy and President Donald Trump for making statements that he said gave “rise to management and operational confusion, to directives that tend to generate uncertainty as to who is in charge of policies that ultimately could affect the reliability of absentee ballots, thus potentially discouraging voting by mail.”
Marrero’s opinion said that, in prior elections, including the 2018 midterms, the Postal Service generally treated election mail as first-class mail, according to Reuters.
DeJoy previously announced that he would push out operational changes at the Postal Service until after the November 3 election.
“To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded,” he said in August.