Trump’s attacks on voting-by-mail and the Post Office

In a long list of false claims and furious objections to voting-by-mail, Trump admitted on Thursday that he’s willingly blocking proposed federal aid for the U.S. Postal Service in an attempt to make it harder to expand voting by mail.

For years, the Postal Service has struggled to stay afloat, and with Louis DeJoy, a Republican mega donor and an ally of Trump, as postmaster general since May, the mail carrier has experienced slowdowns due to cost-cutting measures. 

From The New York Times:

Mr. Trump has assailed the money-losing Postal Service in recent months, at the same time warning that voting by mail will lead to fraud, lost or stolen ballots and long delays in determining a winner.

The appointment as postmaster general in May of Louis DeJoy, a Trump campaign contributor with significant financial interests in the Postal Service’s competitors and contractors, has prompted further concerns about the politicization of the agency, particularly after Mr. DeJoy put in place policy changes that have slowed mail delivery in some areas.

Mr. DeJoy has kept tens of millions of dollars invested in XPO Logistics, a Postal Service contractor for which he was a board member, first reported by CNN on Wednesday. However, he sold his stake in United Parcel Service, a major rival for the post office, in June, according to financial disclosures.

Shortly after he divested between $100,000 and $250,000 in Amazon stock the same month, he bought $50,000 to $100,000 in stock options for the company. Amazon, a frequent subject of Mr. Trump’s attacks, is a major competitor to the Postal Service in package delivery.

Following the revelations, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, called for an investigation into Mr. DeJoy’s holdings.

Trump has previously opposed measures to help the Postal Service. He said he would refuse to sign the Cares Act stimulus package in March if it included a bailout for the mail carrier.

Voters and postal workers warn a crisis is building that could disenfranchise record numbers of Americans who will be casting ballots by mail in November because of the coronavirus outbreak, according to the New York Times.

In 2016, nearly a quarter of Americans voted absentee or by mail, and a recent analysis found that nearly 76 percent of Americans are able to receive a ballot by mail this year — the highest in U.S. history.

Trump’s attack on the Postal Service is not only a means of voter suppression, but also an attack on rural communities that rely on the service for a source of stability, employment and a critical link to the rest of the world.

And for vulnerable populations, the voting option is especially essential amid this pandemic — underscoring the importance of states’ receiving adequate aid to increase voting access as well as to ensure a secure and safe election.

Bottom Line: To preserve our constitutional right to vote, our lawmakers must not succumb to petty partisanship, and instead, protect our voice from those who are trying to suppress it.

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Alanna Joyner

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