Mail carrier collects mail in Portland. Photo credit: Wesley Mclachlan

Lawsuits loom over USPS, Postmaster General DeJoy and President Trump accused of voter suppression

Less than two weeks away from major elections, and the woes of USPS continue with disruptions in service. Lawsuits to protect mail-in ballots and other services.

Newly appointed USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s infrastructure changes have triggered an urgency to vote that could produce numbers of historic proportion. But long after the hoorah of breaking voting records, pending lawsuits hang over the head of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, President Donald Trump and the US Postal Service.

States across the country are following the trend of the NAACP, National Urban League and over 20 states sue the USPS, Postmaster General DeJoy and President Trump. Impediment of on-time mail delivery, postal worker policy changes and the disassembling of Post Office services that caused the disenfranchisement for voters of color, led to the NAACP lawsuit

MSN News reported that the Washington state led lawsuit to prevent the USPS from changes that could result in mail delays, impacting the upcoming presidential election has already been won. Similarly, CBS Local reports that just as Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro filed a lawsuit in order to reinstate Postal Service operations, Postmaster General DeJoy conceded by assuring there will be no further cuts to service. 

| Watch: USPS Postmaster General dismantles an essential service

But the fight is far from over for many states. New York Attorney General Letitia James tweeted, “I will fight tooth and nail to ensure the #USPS is protected, period,” she said as she led a coalition of states that included Hawaii, New Jersey, New York City and San Francisco in filing a lawsuit against the USPS, Postmaster General DeJoy as well as President Trump. The lawsuit challenges USPS policy changes beyond its authority as well as making those changes without consulting with the Postal Regulatory Commission.

Additionally, the National Urban League teamed up with Common Cause and the League of Women Voters to file a suit against the USPS and Postmaster General DeJoy on the grounds of violation of the first amendment, deprivation of voter rights, the implementation of Postal Service reform before submission to the Postal Regulatory Commission as well as reform that surpassed Postmaster General DeJoy’s authority. 

As reported by the Washington Post, Postmaster General DeJoy made major changes to the USPS in order to strengthen the finances of the Postal System.  “I came to the Postal Service to make changes to secure the success of this organization and it’s long term stability,” said DeJoy when he announced his plans to revamp Postal System operations. In sharp contrast to the pending lawsuits, the changes he implemented are going to hurt the waning Postal System budget, rather than help it.

. . . .
Under the management of Louis Dejoy, the USPS struggles to remain in full operation. Photo credit: Trinity Nguyen of Unsplash

With just under two weeks from the 2020 election, people aren’t taking any chances. CNN reports that over 17 million people have already voted. Many voters opted to hit the streets rather than send in mail-in ballots. Delays in mail delivery due to USPS infrastructure changes influenced this decision for many. In spite of the apparent risk of contracting the Coronavirus, CNN reports that we could see a historically high voter turnout. 

Harris County Texas County Clerk, Chris Hollins tweeted, “With just over 100,000 votes, we have officially surpassed the turnout for any Early Voting day.” As well, AJC reported that Georgian voters showed up and showed out by overloading polling sites. So far the removal of 671 high volume mail processing machines and the removal of mail boxes in key voting areas haven’t slowed voters down a bit.

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