WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon lawmakers are speaking out against the slowdown in the U.S. Postal Service.
About 20% of voters in the United States cast their ballots by mail in the 2016 election. But that number is expected to rise dramatically this year because of the pandemic. Experts are predicting vote-by-mail could play a pivotal role in an election year unlike any other.
There are now growing concerns over mail delays ahead of the election as President Trump ramps up his efforts to cast doubt on the integrity of vote-by-mail. “Universal mail-in voting is going to be catastrophic,” the president said Saturday. “It’s going to make our country a laughingstock all over the world.”
Also under fire is new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy—a Trump ally and mega-donor—over cost-cutting measures, including staffing cuts, slashed overtime and a reduction of mail-sorting equipment. The Postal Service even warned dozens of states, including key battlegrounds, that “ballots requested near the deadline will not be returned by mail in time to be counted.”
On Monday, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, U.S. Representatives Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici and Kurt Schrader demanded that DeJoy rescind his orders that “unacceptably slowed mail deliver across Oregon and the nation.”
In a letter to DeJoy, the group of Oregon Democrats said the postmaster general’s actions at the president’s behest “deliberately threaten the delivery of needed medications and undermine the functioning of the state’s proven vote-by-mail system during the window when ballots are mailed to voters and Election Day.” They went on to call the delays “blatant election interference.”
The entire letter is available here.
President Trump tweeted Monday, “The U.S. Post Office (System) has been failing for many decades. We simply want to MAKE THE POST OFFICE GREAT AGAIN, while at the same time saving billions of dollars a year for American Taxpayers. Dems don’t have a clue!”
Demonstrators protested outside DeJoy’s D.C. home this past weekend as Democrats demand he testify at an “urgent” hearing one week from Monday.