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DC protesters stage 'wake-up call' outside home of postmaster general

Protesters angry with the recent actions of Postmaster General Louis DeJoyLouis DeJoyJudge orders Postal Service to restore high-speed mail sorting machines Watchdog rips operational changes at USPS Voting rights group files suit against Trump, administration officials alleging voter intimidation MORE staged a demonstration outside his home in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, calling for support for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

Led by the activist group Shut Down D.C., protesters gathered at Kalorama Park in Adams Morgan and then marched toward DeJoy's home in Northwest D.C., eventually stopping outside the condo building to give the postal chief a "wake-up call."

Protesters were seen holding signs declaring support for the Postal Service and delivered protest materials that resembled mail-in ballots.

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The USPS didn't immediately return The Hill's request for comment about the demonstration.

DeJoy, a former supply chain CEO and major donor to President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Pence's chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19 MORE and other Republicans, was appointed to the position of postmaster general at the end of May. At the beginning of August, he announced a widespread restructuring of the Postal Service, which resulted in more than 20 postal executives being reassigned or displaced.

While DeJoy has said that the changes were necessary, he acknowledged that they have had "unintended consequences" on USPS operations.

The reduced service capacity of the nation's mail service has been put in the spotlight recently as the tensions surrounding November's general elections have increased. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Democratic lawmakers at all levels have pushed for expanded mail-in voting.

It has also been reported that DeJoy ordered 671 USPS letter sorting machines to be decommissioned. These machines play a huge role in the timely delivery of mail, as one machine can sort 35,000 letters an hour.

Moreover, numerous states have received notifications from the Postal Service warning them that it won't be able to handle the expected influx of mail-in ballots in November.

The USPS's inspector general plans to review the structural changes that DeJoy sanctioned, a representative said Friday.

“We are in receipt of a congressional request and are conducting a body of work to address the concerns raised,” Agapi Doulaveris, a spokesperson for the inspector general’s office, told The Hill.

Democrats have proposed $25 billion in additional funding for the USPS in Congress's latest coronavirus stimulus package.

Trump on Thursday sent mixed signals as to whether he supported the funding. Early in the day he said that he wouldn't support the money because it would allow Democrats to expand mail-in voting in November, something that Trump has repeatedly claimed will lead to rampant voter fraud. He later said he would support the funding but was still soundly against the Democrats' efforts to expand mail-in voting.

On Friday, Trump said he would approve money for USPS as part of the coronavirus relief package but only if Democrats made concessions on certain White House priorities.