DeJoy’s 10-Year Postal Plan Threatens Ballots, States Say
(Bloomberg) -- Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is again trying to make major changes that pose a threat to timely delivery of mail-in ballots, according to a complaint filed by a group of Democratic state attorneys general.
DeJoy’s 10-year strategic plan for the U.S. Postal Service will permanently slow delivery standards for first-class mail nationwide, affecting everything from election mail to government benefits, 19 states and the District of Columbia said in an administrative complaint with the Postal Regulatory Commission. DeJoy also failed to seek an advisory opinion for the March plan from the regulator as required by federal law, they allege.
“These proposals threaten to put our democracy and our people at risk,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement Thursday. “Americans from all across the spectrum rely on the U.S. Postal Service for their medication, paychecks, and election mail.”
USPS spokeswoman Kim Frum said Friday the Postal Service would ask for the dismissal of the complaint, which she said “has no legal or factual merit.”
“The Postal Service has and will continue to follow all statutory and regulatory requirements as we move forward on implementing our strategic plan to restore service excellence and financial sustainability,” Frum said.
DeJoy, a donor to former president Donald Trump, sparked controversy last year with an earlier round of major operational changes at USPS that disrupted service ahead of the 2020 election, which featured heavy voting by mail due to the coronavirus pandemic. The changes were largely put on hold following lawsuits by several Democratic-led states worried about late or missing ballots.
DeJoy was selected as postmaster last year by the Postal Service Board of Governors, which was then controlled by Trump appointees. He has denied that the changes were politically motivated and argued he’s trying to save the money-losing USPS.
“One political appointee does not get to decide the fate of the Postal Service,” Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who led a multi-state suit against USPS last year over the changes, said in a statement. “There is a process that demands accountability from the American public for a reason.”
Bonta said the changes “are straight out of the Trump playbook.”
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.