The new Trump-allied Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, has implemented policy changes at the Postal Service that have slowed down mail processing and delivery, which has sparked concerns about the security of mail-in voting during the upcoming presidential election. Although Trump does not directly control policy at the Postal Service, DeJoy is clearly a political ally of the administration (he’s donated big money to GOP causes), and Trump has ranted ad nauseum against mail-in voting, which he has falsely claimed is full of opportunities for fraud. Now, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) says she has requested a criminal investigation from the state’s attorney general into whether the Trump administration has broken the law through the potential mail-in ballot delays.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Hobbs said:
‘In Arizona, it’s against the law to “delay the delivery of a ballot.” I’ve asked Attorney General Brnovich to investigate recent changes at USPS, and whether or not the Trump administration has committed a crime. Our postal workers have a motto: “neither snow, nor rain, nor heat…” I have every confidence that these couriers will work diligently to overcome this political interference and ensure timely delivery of the mail, including election mail.’
Our postal workers have a motto: “neither snow, nor rain, nor heat…” I have every confidence that these couriers will work diligently to overcome this political interference and ensure timely delivery of the mail, including election mail. pic.twitter.com/t2uzPa7eHT
— Secretary Katie Hobbs (@SecretaryHobbs) August 14, 2020
The policy changes that DeJoy has implemented that have slowed down the mail include, among other things, the cancellation of overtime opportunities for huge swathes of the workforce and the removal of hundreds of mail-sorting machines from facilities around the country. Just one of those machines can sort about 35,000 letters an hour, and a staggering 671 of the machines have been set to be taken out of commission, according to NBC.
The state of Arizona is not the only entity that is attempting to hold the Trump administration accountable for these policy changes and their potential impact on the election. At the request of a group of Democratic members of Congress, the inspector general overseeing the Postal Service recently started their own investigation of the issues. Although Trump claims that he’s concerned with stopping fraud, that alleged fraud is non-existent, and Trump may simply be paranoid about high election turnout equaling a big loss for him.