New York Attorney General Letitia James has vowed to lead the charge in combating the federal government’s "efforts to defund the U.S. Postal Service" and potentially undermine November’s elections.
The USPS has cautioned states that it cannot guarantee that all ballots cast for the Tuesday, Nov. 3 election will arrive in time to be counted, even if they are mailed by states’ deadlines to submit them.
The announcement came as President Donald Trump continues to contend that mail ballots could lead to fraud as he frets about potentially losing the election to Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden.
In states without universal mail-in voting, applications for mail ballots are generally sent out to voters through the mail. They’re then returned, again, by mail. Then the actual ballots are sent to voters by mail, and returned, again, by mail, usually by Election Day.
However, the USPS has never dealt with the volume of potential mail-in ballots expected during this year’s election season.
Trump has balked about providing the USPS with a $10 billion infusion from Congress to continue operating, but politicians on both sides of the aisle have been unable to reach an accord.
Last week, the president admitted to holding up a coronavirus stimulus deal over Democrat demands for USPS funding and mail-in voting.
“They need that money to make the Post Office work so it can take all those millions and millions of ballots,” he said. “Without the funding, they can’t have universal mail-in voting because they aren’t equipped to have it,” prompting some elected officials to allege that Trump is “sabotaging” the election.
In response to Trump’s efforts to interfere with USPS operations before the election, James vowed to fight the commander-in-chief along with other state attorneys general.
“President Trump’s actions to interfere with the operations of the U.S. Postal Service in advance of the presidential election is deeply disturbing,” she said. “It is an attempt at an authoritarian power grab in an effort to hold on to power, plain and simple.
James said that she and other state attorneys general from around the nation, are now “swiftly examining every legal option to protect the postal service and Americans’ right to vote absentee.
“While the president works to disenfranchise voters, we will fight to protect our democracy and ensure every eligible voter has the opportunity to cast a ballot come November.”
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