NC AG Stein sues postmaster general, USPS to protect mail delivery

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina’s attorney general filed a lawsuit Friday against the U.S. Postal Service for what the attorney general said was recent unlawful actions to undermine the effectiveness of the Postal Service.

Stein said the lawsuit seeks to reverse the Postal Service’s operational changes that have delayed mail delivery.

The announcement from Attorney General Josh Stein comes as Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies before a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing about the changes.

“The Postal Service is a foundational American institution, and one that is vital to our daily lives,” said Stein. “The Postal Service is how we pay bills, get our medications, and conduct business. But we especially need the Postal Service to be delivering mail on time during a pandemic and weeks before an election that will see more North Carolinians voting by mail than ever before.”

Stein said the following changes have been made that have resulted in delays in mail delivery:

  • Prohibiting late or extra trips by postal workers that are necessary to deliver mail on time.
  • Requiring carriers to adhere to start and stop times regardless of whether all the mail for their route has arrived or been delivered.
  • Limiting the use of overtime.

“The changes follow a longer effort by the Trump administration to undermine confidence in vote by mail and the results of the 2020 elections,” a statement from Stein said. “In North Carolina, nearly 300,000 people have requested mail-in ballots, more than 10 times the number of requests submitted at this time in 2016.”

Last week, the Postal Service notified many states, including North Carolina, that it could not guarantee delivery of ballots in accordance with state laws and deadlines.

On Friday, DeJoy promised the Postal Service “is fully capable and committed to delivering the nation’s election mail securely and on-time.”

The outcry over mail delays and warnings of political interference have put the Postal Service at the center of the nation’s tumultuous election year, with Americans rallying around one of the nation’s oldest and more popular institutions.

With mounting pressure, DeJoy abruptly reversed course this week, vowing to postpone any further changes until after the election, saying he wanted to avoid even the “perception” of any interference. Blue mailboxes were being removed, back-of-shop sorting equipment shutdown and overtime hours kept in check.

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