States to take Trump administration to court over postal changes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Several Democratic state attorneys general said on Tuesday they will announce legal action against President Donald Trump’s administration over Postal Service changes that may affect mail-in voting in the November U.S. presidential election.

The attorneys general for Washington state and Pennsylvania were due to announce legal action at 1 p.m. (1700 GMT). Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said he will announce later on Tuesday a planned case against service cuts at the Postal Service.

New York’s Attorney General Letitia James said her state will soon file its own lawsuit “to stop the president’s efforts to dismantle the U.S. Postal Service and undermine our elections.”

Democrats and other critics have accused the Republican president of trying to hobble the Postal Service to suppress mail-in voting as he trails Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden in opinion polls ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

Trump said last week he was against Democratic efforts to include funds for the Postal Service and election infrastructure in coronavirus relief legislation because he wanted to limit mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is scheduled to testify on Friday before the Republican-led Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs Committee, spokesmen for the committee and the Postal Service said. DeJoy, a major political donor and ally of Trump, assumed the job in June.

DeJoy also is scheduled to testify on Monday before the Democratic-led House of Representatives Oversight and Reform Committee.

Democrats have raised concerns that Postal Service cost cutting could lead to missed or delayed ballots. They have pointed to reductions in overtime, restrictions on extra mail transportation trips and new mail sorting and delivery policies as changes that threaten to slow mail delivery.

Trump has repeatedly and without evidence claimed that mail balloting is vulnerable to fraud. Voting by mail is nothing new in the United States, and one in four voters cast ballots that way in 2016.

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