HARTFORD, CT — Concerns about the U.S. Postal Service and the changes put forth by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy reached a tipping point Tuesday when 14 attorneys general across the country joined forces to stop the changes and filed a federal lawsuit.
Before they even filed the lawsuit, DeJoy, a staunch Trump supporter, said in a statement that work on proposed service changes will take place after the election.
“There are some longstanding operational initiatives – efforts that predate my arrival at the Postal Service – that have been raised as areas of concern as the nation prepares to hold an election in the midst of a devastating pandemic. To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded,” he said.
But that’s not good enough for Connecticut Attorney General William Tong.
Tong, who joined the 14-state lawsuit, said he wants to see a federal court order mandating the reinstallation of sorting equipment that was decommissioned at a facility in Wallingford.
Tong said it’s curious that sorting machines are getting removed from postal offices in “major urban centers across the country,” where large numbers of Democratic voters live.
However, he said it’s more than curious – it was not done legally, according to the lawsuit.
“They didn’t follow the rules in making those changes,” Tong said. “They didn’t go to the postal regulatory commission like they’re supposed to.”
He said they also undermined the state’s ability to run its elections.
Some of the absentee ballots sent on Aug. 4 through the postal service didn’t reach voters until Aug. 13 – two days after the presidential primary in Connecticut.
He said they want the Postal Service to “undo the damage that they’ve done.”
He said he also wants to make sure they are prepared for the increase in mail-in ballots for the November election.
In Connecticut, 57% of voters voted by absentee ballot, Tong said.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday is just one of the lawsuits coming.
Another is expected in Pennsylvania, where last week a federal judge ordered Trump’s re-election campaign to provide evidence of mail-in voting fraud. The Trump campaign is challenging the ballot boxes set up outside every town hall in Connecticut and across the country.
President Donald Trump admitted on national television last week that he would not agree to additional U.S. Postal Service funding because it would make mail-in balloting easier.
“Now they need that money in order to make the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” he said. “But if they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting.”
Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, said Tong’s decision to join the multi-state lawsuit was partisan because he’s refusing to investigate what happened in Connecticut with absentee ballots.
“At the same time Attorney General Tong is playing Washington politics, he is refusing to investigate people losing their right to vote here in Connecticut. He can’t blame the failures of the primary election in Connecticut on the post office,” Fasano said.
He said there were people who didn’t receive their ballots or received them after they had already left town and it was too late for them to vote.
“That was not the post office failing. In fact, the Governor’s executive order that allowed ballots placed in the mail on election day to be counted two days later acknowledges that the post office was trusted to get all those ballots submitted on time. What failed was the Secretary of the State’s system she created of her own volition, and which the Attorney General is refusing to investigate.”