Six states and Washington, DC, are suing the United States Postal Service (USPS) over upcoming operational changes, contending that the coming reforms impede the ability of states “to conduct free and fair elections.”
California, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Washington, DC, are joining Pennsylvania, which is spearheading the lawsuit, according to Reuters:
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said “to the Trump Administration, delivering your paycheck, medication or ballot is a joke but there’s nothing funny about the wages you earn, your health, or right to vote. That’s why today we’re standing with Pennsylvania and other states, taking the Postmaster General to court.”
— Reuters (@Reuters) August 21, 2020
The news comes as postmaster general Louis DeJoy testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee after widespread backlash following announcements of operational changes to USPS. As a result, USPS warned several states that it could experience delays in delivering mail-in ballots, particularly those that are sent close to the current deadline because of current election laws.
The news sparked backlash, as progressive leaders accused President Trump of actively working with USPS to interfere in the U.S. election. Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D), for instance, accused Trump of attempting to “sabotage” the USPS, describing him as engaging in a “coordinated scheme” ahead of the election. As a result, she formally requested that Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) investigate. Brnovich’s office straightforwardly dismissed her accusations as “purely speculative,” noting that she did not provide “information or evidence establishing that the delivery of any Arizona ballot has been illegally delayed.” His office also reminded Hobbs that the postmaster general does not report to the president.
Nonetheless, DeJoy has since announced that the USPS will suspend reforms for the financially strained institution until after the presidential election.
“To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded,” he announced.
DeJoy told the Senate panel on Friday that USPS is “fully capable and committed to delivering the nation’s election mail securely and on time.
“This sacred duty is my Number One priority between now and Election Day,” he added.