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Jimmy Carter speaks to a Baptist congregation in Plains, Georgia on April 28, 2019. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

David Caroll, leader of the Carter Center's project to promote democracy in international elections, told the U.K.'s Independent on Friday that the center is weighing "direct engagement" on "U.S. election issues" for the first time.

Why it matters: Six states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against Postmaster General Louis DeJoy Friday, alleging recent changes to the U.S. Postal Service were "unlawful" and designed to impede efforts to conduct "free and fair elections."

The big picture: Widespread delays in the USPS have prompted allegations from Democratic lawmakers that DeJoy and President Trump attempted to undermine the Postal Service ahead of the upcoming election, expected to see a record number of mail-in ballots.

  • Trump has vowed to block Democrats' demands for $3.6 billion for "universal" mail-in voting and $25 billion for the USPS in the next coronavirus stimulus package, baselessly claiming that helping voters cast ballots remotely would lead to mass voter fraud.
  • DeJoy told the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Friday that he never discussed any changes to USPS policies — which he has since suspended — with the president.

What they're saying: “Until the last 10 years, we wouldn’t have thought of the U.S. in that category," Caroll told the Independent, referring to countries with “a significant potential for an important change in the quality of democracy," or where democracy is severely threatened.

  • "But it’s been increasingly the view of the Carter [Center] that the state of democracy in the U.S. has been eroding ... This is the first time that we’re really looking at it in a robust manner,” he said.
  • "There has been no changes to any policies with regard to election mail," DeJoy testified to the Senate on Friday, adding that the USPS "is fully capable and committed to delivering the nation’s election mail fully and on time."

Where it stands: The Center "is still in the early stages of deciding exactly what its U.S. mission will look like or who will be involved," per the Independent.

  • Caroll said the Center would want to focus its U.S. election messaging on its international efforts, such as "[stressing] the importance of transparency mechanisms around an election as a means to really build confidence in the election process," and to fight misinformation, per the Independent.

Go deeper

Michigan board certifies Biden's win

Poll workers count absentee ballots in Detroit, Michigan on Nov. 4. Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers certified the state's election results on Monday, making President-elect Joe Biden's win there official and granting him the state's 16 electoral votes.

Why it matters: Republican Party leaders had unsuccessfully appealed to delay the official certification, amid the Trump campaign's failed legal challenges in key swing states.

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220-212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.

Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief vote

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.