Photo: Pete Marovich/Getty Images

New York Attorney General Letitia James accused Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and President Trump of turning the U.S. Postal Service into "a political football set to undermine a federal election" in a lawsuit seeking to block changes to postal policies that was filed Tuesday.

The big picture: More Americans than ever are expected to vote by mail during the coronavirus pandemic, even as Trump has continually claimed without evidence that increased mail-in voting will lead to widespread voter fraud. He has pledged to block funding for mail-in voting and the USPS.

  • New Jersey, Hawaii, New York City and San Francisco were also plaintiffs in James' lawsuit.
  • The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Driving the news: DeJoy was called to testify before both the House and Senate this month in the aftermath of operational changes that led to widespread mail delays. DeJoy, a Trump donor and businessman, also faces lawsuits from at least 25 states.

What they're saying: "This USPS slowdown is nothing more than a voter suppression tactic," James said in a press release. "Yet, this time, these authoritarian actions are not only jeopardizing our democracy and fundamental right to vote, but the immediate health and financial well-being of Americans across the nation."

  • "But as the COVID-19 pandemic began shutting down cities, counties, and states, the Trump Administration made concerted efforts to interfere with the agency and with states’ plans to expand mail-in voting due to the public health crisis."
  • "President Trump repeatedly, emphatically, and openly attempted to undermine mail-in voting efforts and the U.S. Postal Service’s ability to ensure the timely delivery of ballots."

The other side: "I am not engaged in sabotaging the election,” DeJoy told a House committee on Monday, calling allegations that he has made sweeping operational changes in order to undercut mail-in voting a "false narrative."

  • He reiterated that he will suspend all changes to the USPS until after the election in order to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
  • DeJoy also testified that USPS on-time departures are approaching 98%.

Read the lawsuit.

Go deeper

Sep 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

In photos: Virginians line up for hours on first day of early voting

A long line of voters wait to cast their ballots at the Fairfax County Government Center in Fairfax, Virginia, for the November presidential election on Friday, the first day of early voting in the state. Photo: John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images

In some parts of Virginia, people waited in line up to four hours to cast their ballots on the first day of early voting, according to the Washington Post.

The big picture: The COVID-19 pandemic seems to already have an impact on how people cast their votes this election season. As many as 80 million Americans are expected to vote early, by mail or in person, Tom Bonier, CEO of TargetSmart, a Democratic political data firm, told Axios in August.

The top Republicans who aren't voting for Trump in 2020

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Pence's former lead staffer on the White House coronavirus task force announced that she plans to vote for Joe Biden in the 2020 election, while accusing President Trump of costing lives with his pandemic response.

Why it matters: Olivia Troye, who described herself as a life-long Republican, joins other prominent Republicans who have publicly said they will either not vote for Trump's re-election this November or will back Biden.

Updated 45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 30,804,120 — Total deaths: 957,348— Total recoveries: 21,062,785Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 6,766,631 — Total deaths: 199,268 — Total recoveries: 2,577,446 — Total tests: 94,211,463Map.
  3. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning
  4. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19.
  6. World: Guatemalan president tests positive for COVID-19 — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.