State Watch

Bipartisan group of secretaries of state request meeting with Postmaster General DeJoy

Bonnie Cash

A bipartisan group of state election officials wrote to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy last week, requesting a virtual audience to discuss concerns they have regarding November’s election, but a meeting has yet to be scheduled as tensions surrounding Election Day mount.

The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) sent the letter to the nation’s mail chief on Aug. 7. New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver (D), Louisiana Secretary of State R. Kyle Ardoin (R), Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) joined the letter. 

“State and local election officials are busy planning for the November general election and many expect an increase in the use of absentee and mail ballots, along with other election-related mailings,” the state officials wrote. “We view the [United States Postal Service] as a vital partner in administering a safe, successful election and would like to learn more about any planned changes around USPS service due to COVID-19, preparations for increased election-related mail, USPS staffing levels and processing times, and other pertinent issues.”

NASS spokesperson Maria Benson confirmed to The Hill that the group had yet to receive an “official response” from DeJoy about the meeting.

The USPS “appreciates its longstanding relationship with the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS),” the Postal Service told NPR, which first reported on the letter, in an email.

“We have been in touch with NASS and are working to set up a meeting between our Election Mail stakeholders as well as theirs. We continue to work with NASS, all Secretaries of State and Boards of Election and look forward to a successful general election in November.”

DeJoy, a known donor to President Trump and other GOP lawmakers, was appointed to the role of postmaster general by Trump in May. At the beginning of August, DeJoy announced sweeping structural changes, including the removal of the pair of top agency officials in charge of day-to-day operations.

The changes in the short term have led to service delays and raised the eyebrows of Democrats, who have pushed for expanded mail-in voting during the pandemic.

Democratic lawmakers have voiced major concerns over the Postal Service’s ability to handle the expected influx of mail-in ballots if it doesn’t receive more funding. The House’s latest coronavirus stimulus proposal passed in May includes $25 billion in funding for USPS.

Trump on Thursday suggested he was opposed to the extra funding to the Postal Service because it would aid Democrats’ mail-in voting efforts on Fox Business Network.
However, Trump later in the day said that he sign a bill including the funding but was still against universal mail-in voting.
Tags 2020 general election Donald Trump Election Security Louis DeJoy Louis DeJoy mail-in voting National Association of Secretaries of State National Association of Secretaries of State Trump United States Postal Service United States Postal Service

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