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Democrats in Congress demand probe into postmaster general's 'threat to mail-in ballots'

Nine Democratic lawmakers want the U.S. Postal Service inspector general to investigate new policies that have led to reports of ‘slower and less reliable’ mail delivery.

By Emily Singer - August 07, 2020
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Postmaster General Louis DeJoy

A group of House and Senate Democrats wrote a letter to the U.S. Postal Service inspector general on Friday asking for an investigation into the Trump administration’s changes to the mail delivery agency that have “led to slower and less reliable delivery.”

The letter, signed by nine congressional Democrats, states the changes to staffing and other policies within USPS “pose a potential threat to mail-in ballots and the 2020 general election.”

“The Postal Service has served Americans since before the founding of the Republic, and any actions by President Trump or Postmaster General [Louis] DeJoy that damage the Postal Service’s ability to quickly and reliably deliver the mail would represent a significant breach of their responsibilities,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter.

The call for an investigation follows DeJoy’s announcement in July of USPS cutbacks, which are causing delays in mail delivery.

Unlike the past — when USPS delivery workers would make multiple trips and work overtime hours to ensure mail was delivered in a timely fashion — DeJoy announced that delivery workers should now leave mail in distribution centers if they cannot process it within certain hours of the day, the Washington Post reported.

Such delays could have an impact on the 2020 election, as the USPS could be overwhelmed by thousands of mail ballots that must be delivered by a certain time period in order to be counted.

The investigation demand also comes as Donald Trump has been attacking the practice of voting by mail — which many states are expanding in 2020 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and fears of virus transmission at in-person polling sites.

Democrats on Thursday met with DeJoy — who was a major Trump donor before his appointment — to try to force him to repeal the changes.

“We pushed it. It’s gotta be 100%, not 94%, not 97%,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told CNN on Thursday of Democrats’ meeting with DeJoy. “We don’t fully trust them — with everything Trump has said about the Post Office — and they’re Trump appointees.”

The members of Congress who wrote the letter include Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Gary Peters of Michigan, Tom Carper of Delaware, Ron Wyden of Oregon, and Tina Smith of Minnesota, as well as Reps. Carolyn Maloney of New York, Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts, Gerry Connolly of Virginia, and Brenda Lawrence of Michigan.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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