Federal judge orders Postal Service to reverse collection limits to ensure election mail delivery

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A federal judge ordered the U.S. Postal Service to reverse guidelines implemented by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to allow extra trips ensuring election-related mail is delivered.

Judge Emmet Sullivan of the District Court for the District of Columbia granted the emergency motion on Tuesday night, ordering USPS workers be informed of the change by 9 a.m. on Wednesday. According to the Hill, Sullivan made the motion against President Trump as a means to enforce a primary injunction last month, blocking the Trump administration from enforcing the postmaster’s changes.

“USPS personnel are instructed to perform late and extra trips to the maximum extent necessary to increase on-time mail deliveries, particularly for Election Mail,” Sullivan said in the emergency motion. “To be clear, late and extra trips should be performed to the same or greater degree than they were performed prior to July 2020 when doing so would increase on-time mail deliveries.”

The judge is requiring the USPS to provide the court with daily updates about data regarding election mail, percentage of on-time deliveries, and the amount of extra and late trips conducted the preceding day.

Over the summer, DeJoy drew controversy after instituting cost-cutting measures for the cash-strapped USPS during the pandemic. Critics panned the move by DeJoy, a GOP donor, as having a potential effect on the election. Last month, DeJoy said he would suspend the changes until after Nov. 3 to “avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail.”

Following Sullivan’s order, the USPS said its main priority until Election Day is ensuring election mail is delivered securely and in a timely manner, Fox News reported. It said it is “deploying extraordinary measures,” including “expedited handling, extra deliveries, and special pickups.”

The USPS has become a hot topic in the months leading up to Election Day. Mail-in voting has surged as many people decided to cast their ballots by mail instead of in-person given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Trump has bashed the practice and has claimed it could lead to voter fraud.

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