A New York federal judge ruled on Monday for the Postal Service to reverse changes that consequently resulted in slower mail delivery.
The Postal Service will prioritize election mail as a result of the reversal. This represents the latest legal rebuke to Louis DeJoy’s management of the agency.
Judge Victor Marrero said in his ruling that the Postal Service must begin treating all election-related mail as first-class or priority mail by Friday. This includes ballots. All overtime requested between Oct. 26 to Nov. 6 will also be preapproved. As a result, they must submit a plan to restore on-time delivery of mail to its highest level.
“The right to vote is too vital a value in our democracy to be left in a state of suspense in the minds of voters weeks before a presidential election, raising doubts as to whether their votes will ultimately be counted,” said Judge Marrero.
Marrero’s ruling is in response to a lawsuit from mail-in voters in six states that was brought against President Trump and Mr. DeJoy. Additionally, the suit also sought to block the cuts that DeJoy implemented just months before the election in November.
Seventeen plaintiffs in total asked the court to declare that Mr. DeJoy, Trump’s megadonor and presidential ally, violated voter rights by scaling back operations in an attempt to stymie mail-in voting.
For example, in June the Postal Service management removed 671 machines that were used to sort mail quickly. In July, employees were sent a memo that banned additional daily trips beyond their initial runs.
One of the New York plaintiffs included Mondaire Jones, a congressional candidate running to represent the 17th district, and Allesandra Biaggi, a state senator. They are represented by Ali Najimi and J. Remy Green, who convinced a Manhattan federal judge recently that thousands of absentee ballots missing postmarks must be counted.
“This national injunction will ensure the integrity of the election,” said Mr. Najimi.
Martha Johnson, a spokesman for the Postal Service, said the agency will focus on successfully carrying out the judge’s decision as a result.
“There should be no doubt, however that the Postal Service is ready and fully committed to handling expected increased volumes of election mail between now and the conclusion of the Nov. 3 election,” said Johnson.
“Our No. 1 priority is to deliver the nation’s election mail securely and in a timely fashion.”
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