Politics

US Judge Blocks Changes To Postal Service Before Election Day

(Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

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A U.S. Judge blocked changes to the United States Postal Service (USPS) Thursday that have caused delivery times to slow down, calling the changes an “attack” on the USPS.

Judge Stanley Bastian of Washington state issued a nationwide preliminary injunction to stop any changes to USPS after 14 states sued the Trump administration and the U.S. Postal Service for the so-called “leave behind” policy which required USPS employees to leave work on time regardless of whether there was still more mail to load.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy also eliminated overtime, removed USPS mailboxes and reduced operating hours.

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 24: Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies during a hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on August 24, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee is holding a hearing on "Protecting the Timely Delivery of Mail, Medicine, and Mail-in Ballots." (Photo by Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 24: Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies during a hearing before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on August 24, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee is holding a hearing on “Protecting the Timely Delivery of Mail, Medicine, and Mail-in Ballots.” (Photo by Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)

The group of states alleged the changes were politically motivated, and Bastian agreed.

“Although not necessarily apparent on the surface, at the heart of DeJoy’s and the Postal Service’s actions is voter disenfranchisement,” Bastian wrote.

“It is easy to conclude that the recent Postal Services’ changes is an intention effort on the part of the current Administration to disrupt and challenge the legitimacy of upcoming local, state, and federal elections.”

The order prohibits the USPS from following the ‘leave behind’ policy and to treat all election mail as first class mail to speed up the delivery process. (RELATED: FLASHBACK 2012: NYT Reports Flaws, Fraud with ‘Mail In’ Ballots ‘Could Well Affect Outcomes This Fall’)

USPS Board of Governors member Lee Moak said the Judge’s claim that the changes were politically motivated  are “completely and utterly without merit,” according to Politico.

Despite the injunction, DeJoy announced in August that the USPS would suspend any changes to the Postal Service to “avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail.”

DeJoy promised the Postal Service is capable and equipped to handle the expected large influx of mail-in ballots.