Aug 15, 2020 - Politics & Policy

What they're saying: State and local officials react to USPS changes

A USPS mail worker wearing a mask driving a mail vehicle on Aug. 13.
A USPS mail worker wearing a mask driving a mail vehicle in New Jersey on Aug. 13. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

State and local officials have come down on the Trump administration for changes to the U.S. Postal Service implemented by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and threats from the president to block stimulus funding carved out to help the agency as it prepares to processes mail-in ballots for the November general election.

Why it matters: Lawmakers fear that cost-cutting measures and modifications to election mail processing practices could delay election mail, which could disenfranchise voters and delay election results.

The big picture: USPS has notified at least 46 states and the District of Columbia since July that it cannot ensure ballots sent by mail in the general election will arrive in time to be counted, citing close state election deadlines and a surge in mail-in voting due to the coronavirus.

  • In response to the letters, some states have proposed extending their mail-in voting deadlines. However, if states go ahead with deadline changes, it would guarantee election results will be delayed.
What they're saying:

Greg Fischer, mayor of Louisville and president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors: "The news of recent changes to the U.S. Postal Service’s delivery process coupled with the Administration’s decision to withhold funding is alarming and should be of grave concern to us all, particularly with the General Election only months away," per a statement.

Kim Wyman, Republican secretary of state in Washington: “Politicizing these administrative processes is dangerous and undermines public confidence in our elections,” she said in a statement, according to AP.

  • “This volume of work is by no means unusual, and is an operation I am confident the U.S. Postal Service is sufficiently prepared to fulfill.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom: "The @USPS should be fully funded. Pass it on."

Terry McAuliffe, former Democratic governor of Virginia: "Donald Trump will do anything he can to stay in power. Let’s be clear about this, his attack on the Postal Service is an attack on our democracy. We need to protect it so we can protect everyone’s right to vote."

Christine Todd Whitman, former Republican governor of New Jersey: "It is ironic that, as we approach the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment and the enfranchisement of women in the electoral process, we have an administration that is trying to disenfranchise millions of American voters."

  • "This is shameful. The #USPS must be fully funded and every vote must be counted. #SaveTheUSPS."

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