LOCAL NEWS

WA Attorney General Ferguson ‘considering all legal options’ to fight Trump changes to USPS

Aug 14, 2020, 3:53 PM | Updated: 3:56 pm
usps dogs...
(AP Photo/File)
(AP Photo/File)

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson is considering legal action in the wake of recent action from the Trump administration that could potentially hinder the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) ability to deliver ballots in November.

Sec. of State Wyman: Trump war against vote-by-mail ‘a dangerous path’

Ferguson has sued the Trump administration over 65 times since the president took office in 2016, and says he is now considering action over recent changes to the USPS by Trump-appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. Those changes include the recent decommissioning of hundreds of high-volume mail-processing machines across the country, cutting staff hours, eliminating overtime pay for postal workers, and even removing mailboxes in several locations across Portland, New York City, and more.

Trump also told Fox News on Thursday that USPS funding Congressional Democrats are seeking in the latest coronavirus aid package would be “for something that’ll turn out to be fraudulent,” and that they “need that money in order to make the Post Office work, so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots.”

In a statement issued to MyNorthwest, Attorney General Ferguson said that he is “deeply concerned about changes at the Postal Service and their impacts on our elections and other mail services.”

“I’ve been talking to other attorneys general, and we are considering all of our legal options,” he continued. “We have a strong record of stopping illegal actions by President Trump and his administration.”

That backs up comments from Gov. Jay Inslee during a Thursday news conference, where the governor noted that Ferguson “shares my view that the president’s actions are harmful and undemocratic.”

“He is now considering our rights in Washington state,” Inslee said.

Washington state leads charge to get US to vote by mail in November

In Washington, Secretary of State Kim Wyman promised Friday that the USPS “will maintain excellent delivery standards” during November’s general election. Wyman also called the “politicization” of USPS administrative processes by the Trump administration a “dangerous path to go down.”

The state mails ballots to voters beginning 20 days before Election Day at “nonprofit bulk rate.” That’s the standard delivery rate for the post office, and ensures a ballot arrives in your mailbox within five to 10 days.

That being so, having to wait 10 days for an in-state ballot to arrive is “the worst-case scenario,” according to USPS representatives Wyman has spoken to herself. For out-of-state absentee voters, ballots are sent out 45 days before Election Day as a precaution.

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WA Attorney General Ferguson ‘considering all legal options’ to fight Trump changes to USPS