AG Frey Joins Lawsuit to Stop Service Changes at Post Office; Secure Vote-By-Mail


Attorney General Aaron M. Frey announced today that he is joining a coalition of state Attorneys General led by Pennsylvania Attorney General Jose Shapiro in filing a federal lawsuit challenging nationwide operational changes in the United States Postal Service.  The lawsuit seeks to halt unilateral changes at the Postal Service and ensure safe, secure vote-by-mail across the country.

Service and policy changes at the Postal Service, including limiting staff over time and so-called “late or extra shifts” have impeached the prompt delivery of mail to Americans who rely on the Postal Service for everything from medical prescriptions to ballots.

“The Trump Administration’s attempt to incapacitate the Post Office in the lead up to the 2020 general election constitute a clear effort to interfere with Mainers’ ability to vote safely by mail.  Moreover, many Mainers, particularly in rural areas, rely on a fully-functionally postal service for essential needs from prescription drugs to social security checks,” said Frey in the press release issued by his office this afternoon.  “These actions are unlawful, which is why I am joining a coalition of my colleagues across the country to protect the operation of the Postal Service and to hold the Trump Administration accountable.”

“Nearly 100,000 Mainers voted by mail in Maine’s 2020 primary election.  The need for an effective vote by mail option is especially critical in Maine because of the relatively high levels of individuals at risk of severe illness from COVID-19, particularly disabled and elderly voters.  Nearly half of Maine’s adults are at risk of serious illness from COVID-19 due to age and pre-existing medical condition.  Maine has a proud tradition of voter participation and many Mainers choose to vote safely by mail,” said Frey. “I encourage Mainers to cast their ballots in the way they see fit and I will fight to ensure that they are able to do so without interference.”

Last month, the Postal Service notified many states, including Maine, that it could not guarantee delivery of ballots in accordance with state laws and deadlines.

The multi-state lawsuit will assert the Postal Service unlawfully implemented widespread changes to mail service nationwide.  The suit seeks to immediately reverse the agency’s actions, and guarantee safeguards and standards for election mail.

The Attorneys General will assert that the Postal Service has acted outside of its authority to implement changes to the postal system ad did not follow the property procedures required by federal law.

For more background information about on-line requests for ballots, please visit post herein dated August 17, 2020.