Oregon joins lawsuit against Trump administration for undermining vote-by-mail
As at least 20 states, including Oregon, filed two lawsuits on Tuesday, Aug. 18, against the Trump administration for undermining vote-by-mail ahead of the election.
The lawsuit alleges that changes Postmaster General Louis DeJoy made, which include eliminating overtime and prohibited late deliveries, are unlawful, both because he did not follow the legal procedure established by Congress to make changes to the service and because the consequences of the changes violate federal laws by disenfranchising voters and harming people with disabilities, among other alleged violations.
The changes have led to delays in mail deliveries, throwing into question whether USPS can handle the expected increase in mail-in ballots this November, as voters look for an alternative to in-person voting during the coronavirus pandemic.
DeJoy has since announced that policy changes to the U.S. Postal Service will be suspended until after the general election in November, but Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced Tuesday that Oregon will join other states in suing the Trump administration.
Rosenblum said that while she's pleased to see that DeJoy said he is suspending the changes, the suit will go forward.
"There's so many things that people rely on the mail for," Rosenblum said. "They love the Postal Service and we don't want to see it compromised by politics."
Rosenblum continued, "We would just like to make sure that voting is accessible for all Americans. Especially right here in Oregon, we're so proud of our vote-by-mail system, and the idea that vote-by-mail could be in jeopardy because of politics — because of a president who doesn't want people to be able to physically vote — is just kind of horrifying."
President Donald Trump has claimed for months that a vote-by-mail election would be fraudulent, though there is no evidence that vote-by-mail systems are susceptible to fraud.
Washington state led the suit. Pennsylvania filed a separate multi-state lawsuit against USPS and DeJoy, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Wednesday.
KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune and contributed to this story.
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