- Seven US states are considering lawsuits against the Trump administration to block reductions to the US Postal Service ahead of the November 3 presidential election, according to multiple media reports.
- Virginia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Washington, and North Carolina are among them, per The Washington Post.
- The New York Times reported that New York was also considering action.
- President Donald Trump has lashed out against mail-in voting, which he baselessly claims is exposed to electoral fraud.
- Democrats have accused Trump of seeking to sabotage the election, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday announced a recall of the House to address the crisis at the USPS.
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Seven US states are said to be considering lawsuits against the Trump administration to prevent it from further reducing the ability of the US Postal Service to process mail-in votes.
Six states — Virginia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Washington, and North Carolina — are in discussions over how best to sue the Trump administration, The Washington Post reported.
They hope to prevent operational changes or funding lapses that could affect the presidential election. The Post said the states would most likely announce the lawsuits early this week.
One of the states in question has a Republican governor — Charlie Baker of Massachusetts — while the other five states are led by Democrats.
Two of the states — Pennsylvania and North Carolina — voted for Trump in 2016, with the other four backing Hillary Clinton.
The New York Times reported that New York was also among the states considering legal action.
Mark R. Herring, the attorney general of Virginia, said: “We are going to make sure that every American’s vote counts this fall, whether cast by mail or in person.
“My colleagues and I are working as we speak to determine what Trump and [US Postmaster General Louis] DeJoy are doing, whether they have already violated or are likely to violate any laws, and what tools we have at our disposal to put a stop to President Trump’s ongoing attack on our Postal Service and our democracy.”
Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and North Carolina are all considered swing states whose vote will be pivotal in this year’s presidential race.
The move comes amid growing criticism of Trump’s opposition to extra funding to the US Postal Service, and changes made by DeJoy that have reduced the capacity of the service to efficiently process mail.
Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have urged voters to consider voting by mail to avoid the risk of worsening the coronavirus pandemic by in-person voting, which often involves long lines.
There is expected to be a huge surge in mail-in ballots this year.
Trump has claimed that mail-in voting is exposed to widespread fraud, an untrue claim dismissed by election officials and election experts speaking with Factcheck.Org last week.
Voter fraud does exist in mail-in voting, the experts said, but at vanishingly low levels. They concluded that safeguards against such fraud were robust.
On Friday, the USPS wrote to 46 US states warning that it could not guarantee that ballots sent by mail would be delivered in time to be counted in the election, according to Axios.
Trump trails the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, in national polls.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday announced that the House would be recalled early to discuss the mail-in-voting crisis.
Pelosi said she would call on lawmakers to vote on a bill to block the USPS from introducing changes that would slow the delivery of mail before the end of the year.
In a statement released Sunday, Pelosi accused Trump of a “campaign to sabotage the election.”