Mail-in ballot controversy heats up as Democrats call for postmaster general to testify

Mail-in ballot controversy heats up as Democrats call for postmaster general to testify
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Democrats and Trump administration officials clashed Sunday on expanded mail-in voting and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) on Sunday as the House Oversight Committee called for an "urgent" meeting with the postmaster general to discuss changes ahead of the presidential election.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries Briahna Joy Gray: Voters are 'torn' over Ohio special election Shontel Brown wins Ohio Democratic primary in show of establishment strength MORE (I-Vt.) blasted the Trump administration’s attacks on mail-in voting and failure to act on USPS funding.

“This, again, is not a debate about the Postal Service alone,” Sanders told host Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddChuck Todd is dead wrong: Liberal bias defines modern journalism The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Officers recount the horror of Jan. 6 NFL Network's Rich Eisen says he has COVID-19 despite being vaccinated MORE. “That's important. This is about the future of American democracy and whether people have a right to participate.”

Sanders also called the administration’s attacks on mail-in voting and the lack of funding “a deliberate effort to defund and destroy the U.S. Postal Service so that people cannot engage in mail-in ballots.”

White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsMeadows says Trump World looking to 'move forward in a real way' Trump takes two punches from GOP Watchdog urges Justice to probe Trump, Meadows for attempting to 'weaponize' DOJ MORE, meanwhile, denied reports that hundreds of USPS sorting machines have been removed from service, calling those reports a “political narrative.”

“There's no sorting machines that are going offline between now and the election,” Meadows said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “That’s something that my Democrat friends are trying to do to stoke fear out there. That’s not happening.”

“Are you saying that sorting machines have not been taken offline and removed?” CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperCBC presses Biden to extend eviction moratorium The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate finalizes .2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill Manchin on reported boos at Democratic luncheon: 'I heard a lot of nos' MORE asked.

“I’m saying that sorting machines between now and the election will not be taken offline,” Meadows replied.

When Tapper questioned him about machines that had been taken offline in recent months, Meadows responded: “Get your producer to share where exactly those sorting machines were taken offline. Let them whisper in your ear because what I’m telling you is you’re picking up on a narrative that’s not based on facts.”

On ABC’s “This Week,” Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller invoked several cases frequently cited by the administration, including the delayed results in the Democratic primary in New York’s 12th congressional district, to argue against mail-in voting.

Host George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosBiden calls on Cuomo to resign after harassment probe The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Jan. 6 probe, infrastructure to dominate week Sunday shows - Jan. 6 investigation dominates MORE pushed back, telling Miller: “When the votes are thrown out, that shows that the system is working. It shows that votes that could have been fraudulent ... get taken out.”

“It takes a long time for states to be able to put this together safely and securely,” Miller said. “Going to rush this through is a disaster waiting to happen.”

And on “Fox News Sunday,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) insisted the state has infrastructure in place to ensure all ballots are counted properly in November.

Murphy told Fox News’s Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceAnything-but-bipartisan 1/6 commission will seal Pelosi's retirement. Here's why Biden walks fine line with Fox News Aides who clashed with Giuliani intentionally gave him wrong time for Trump debate prep: book MORE state officials are taking steps to expand access to secure mailing sites and that all ballots would be counted on time.

"Our hope is to expand democracy, and we believe this is the right way to do it," Murphy told Wallace.

The controversy comes amid Democratic scrutiny over the appointment of Trump donor Louis DeJoyLouis DeJoyFBI investigating political fundraising of former employees of Postmaster General DeJoy Postal Service raises stamps to 58 cents as part of restructuring plan Lawmakers request investigation into Postal Service's covert operations program MORE as postmaster general. House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn MaloneyDOJ tells former Trump officials they can testify in Jan. 6 investigations: report Overnight Energy: Democrats request interview with Exxon lobbyist after undercover tapes | Biden EPA to reconsider Trump rollback on power plant pollution in 2022 | How climate change and human beings influence wildfires Democrats request interview with Exxon lobbyist after undercover tapes MORE (D) on Sunday called on DeJoy to testify before the committee about the effects of cost-cutting measures.

“Over the past several weeks, there have been startling new revelations about the scope and gravity of operational changes you are implementing at hundreds of postal facilities without consulting adequately with Congress, the Postal Regulatory Commission, or the Board of Governors,” she wrote.

“Your testimony is particularly urgent given the troubling influx of reports of widespread delays at postal facilities across the country — as well as President TrumpDonald TrumpFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries Missouri Rep. Billy Long enters Senate GOP primary Trump-backed Mike Carey wins GOP primary in Ohio special election MORE’s explicit admission last week that he has been blocking critical coronavirus funding for the Postal Service in order to impair mail-in voting efforts for the upcoming elections in November,” Maloney added.