Liberal advocacy groups sued the U.S. Postal Service and the postmaster general this week, saying the implementation of sweeping operational changes to the sorting and delivery of mail was intended to “sabotage” mail-in ballots for the November election.
The National Urban League, Common Cause, and the League of Women Voters joined together Tuesday, filing a 37-page complaint in the District of Maryland asking the court to prohibit the changes, and to declare they violate the U.S. Constitution.
The filing comes as the U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced he would delay operational changes to mail delivery until after the election.
He was reportedly making changes and reforms at the agency, but critics argued the alterations could impact the election.
Nearly two dozen states also threatened to sue.
According to the complaint, the groups allege the postmaster had decommissioned mail sorting machines, removed post office collection boxes, prohibited overtime and extra delivery trips by postal workers, and reprioritized the delivery of election mail.
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The liberal groups charge the actions could disenfranchise voters that rely on mailing in their ballots, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Politically motivated tampering with the operation of the Postal Service is unlawful and unconstitutional even in ordinary times,” the complaint read.
Mr. DeJoy pushed back Tuesday against allegations his agency couldn’t handle mail-in ballots, issuing a statement announcing an expanded leadership task force for election mail in a partnership with local and state election officials across the country.
“Because of the unprecedented demands of the 2020 election, this taskforce will help ensure that election officials and voters are well informed and fully supported by the Postal Service,” his statement read.
“The Postal Service is ready today to handle whatever volume of election mail it receives this fall. Even with the challenges of keeping our employees and customers safe and healthy as they operate amid a pandemic, we will deliver the nation’s election mail on time and within our well-established service standards,” Mr. DeJoy said.
President Trump and Republicans, though, have stressed it is important for voters to vote in person when possible, suggesting widespread mail-in voting could lead to fraud.
Conservative advocacy groups have pushed back against some of the liberal charges, saying mailboxes, for example, are moved regularly from low demand areas to higher demand.