Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The U.S. Postal Service's governing board is developing a bipartisan Election Mail Committee to oversee mail-in voting processes amid scrutiny over the Trump administration's attempts to thwart mail-in ballots in this November's general election.

The big picture: Social distancing brought on by the pandemic is expected to spur a surge in mail-in voting this election cycle. But President Trump has vowed to block pandemic stimulus funds for mail-in voting and USPS. The president claims voting by mail is susceptible to fraud — contradicting the longstanding history and widespread use of the practice.

  • The USPS Board of Governors says the panel "will use its oversight role to reinforce the strong commitment of the Postal Service to the mail as an important part of the nation’s democratic process, and will regularly monitor execution of USPS’s work on election mail to ensure that our part of this election process is implemented in the most effective way possible."
  • Mail-in ballots are expected to account for under 2% of total mail volume from mid-September to November 3, per the board. But the pandemic could pose unexpected challenges.

The announcement comes after Postmaster General Louis DeJoy drew criticism for proposed changes to USPS that would limit service and operating hours. He announced this week that he will be halting the changes.

  • DeJoy testified before the Senate on Friday, stating, "The Postal Service is fully capable and committed to delivering the nation’s election mail fully and on time."

What to watch: The House is set to vote on $25 billion in aid for USPS on Saturday.

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Senate Republicans reject Trump claim that election results may "never" be known

Sen. Marco Rubio speaking with reporters in July. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Multiple Senate Republicans on Thursday disavowed President Trump's claim that the results of the 2020 election may remain unknown indefinitely, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Twitter flagged a tweet of the president's on Thursday as a potentially misleading statement after he said without evidence that because of mail-in ballots: "the Nov 3rd Election result may NEVER BE ACCURATELY DETERMINED, which is what some want."

Pennsylvania Supreme Court extends mail-in ballot deadline

An election worker opens envelopes containing vote-by-mail ballots in the Washington state primary. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Thursday extended the deadlines for mail ballots to several days after the election, a decision that could see thousands more ballots counted, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The state of play: Current law says that mail-in ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day to be counted. The court decision moves that deadline to 5 p.m. the following Friday, Nov. 6.

Former DNI Dan Coats: "Every conceivable effort" must be made to protect election

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Dan Coats, who served as President Trump's director of national intelligence, wrote in a New York Times op-ed published Thursday that "every conceivable effort" must be taken to safeguard November's election from claims of illegitimacy.

Why it matters: President Trump has repeatedly baselessly suggested that increased mail-in voting could lead to widespread voter fraud, and intelligence officials warn that foreign actors, including Russia, will continue to try to influence this year's election.