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Nevada attorney general joins lawsuit against Trump administration over postal service changes ahead of election

Riley Snyder
Riley Snyder
Election 2020
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A ballot cast in a mailbox

Attorney General Aaron Ford’s office is joining a multi-state coalition suing the federal government over proposed operational changes to the U.S. Postal Service, which critics say threatens normal mail delivery as well as plans for expanded mail-in voting for the 2020 election.

Ford, a Democrat, announced Nevada’s participation in the lawsuit on Tuesday afternoon after national reports emerged that a group of more than 20 Democratic attorneys general across the country were mounting legal challenges to proposed changes to mail delivery. Ford and other Democrats say those changes are attempts by President Donald Trump and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to undermine mail-in voting.

As it relates to Nevada, the lawsuit specifically claims that the USPS has removed three Delivery Bar Code Sorters from Las Vegas and Reno, and at least one Automated Flat Sorting Machine from Las Vegas. Removal of that equipment is, per the lawsuit, expected to “lead to delays in postmarking and delivery for ballots and other mail due to increased transportation time and increased load on the other sorting machines.”

Nevada lawmakers approved a bill in the most recent special legislative session earlier this month allowing for all active registered voters in the state to automatically receive a mailed ballot. President Trump’s campaign and national Republican Party groups have sued to try and stop implementation of Nevada’s new election law, with the president claiming without evidence that the change will lead to rampant voter fraud.

“Our Postal Service mails prescription medications, social security and unemployment checks, and ballots, to name a few,” Ford said in a statement. “Attempting to cut their budget at a time when Americans need these critical services the most is both unlawful and unprecedented. Nevadans can rest assured that I won’t tolerate these reckless changes.”

The lawsuit seeks to block several operational changes implemented by USPS, including eliminating staff overtime, removing mail sorting equipment, altering operations at state distribution centers and mail-sorting practices. It also claims that DeJoy made the changes without following proper administrative rules and on behest of the president, who has attacked expanded mail-in voting on dozens of occasions.

DeJoy announced earlier on Tuesday that many proposed changes being made to the Postal Service would be suspended until after the Nov. 3 election, amid mounting pressure both from state-led lawsuits and requests that he testify before Congress. 

Other states involved in the lawsuit include Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. All have Democratic attorneys general.

Another group of Democratic attorneys general are filing a similar lawsuit in Pennsylvania federal court, including California, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Delaware, Maine and North Carolina.

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