NAACP Calls Attacks on Postal Service “Unprecedented Threat to Democracy”
The NAACP strongly condemns the Trump administration’s deliberate attempt to sabotage the U.S. Postal Service to obstruct voting by mail and to ensure a favorable outcome in the election. Disrupting the machinery of democracy constitutes a strike against the integrity and legitimacy of our elections. It must not stand.
Yesterday, Trump vowed to block emergency funding of $25 billion for the U.S. Postal Service necessary to allow it to handle and process expected enormous increases in mailed ballots as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Trump has blatantly attacked voting by mail generally, repeating false claims that mail-in ballots lead to fraud which have been widely disproven. He has specifically stated that allowing voting by mail would harm his reelection chances.
Trump’s most blatant attack yet on our democratic process comes on the heels of drastic changes to the delivery of U.S. mail that are certain to obstruct a free and fair election. Trump’s newly installed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who has contributed millions to Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party, has purged top officials in the postal service and instituted sweeping operational changes to impair the delivery of mail and undermine the November elections. These changes include cutbacks in the number and use of mail processing equipment, declassifying election mail as first class, altering mail sorting and delivery policies, restricting mail delivery, and reducing overtime for postal workers.
These unprecedented attacks on the Postal Service will disenfranchise voters of color, who are already more harshly impacted by coronavirus and require alternative methods to in-person voting in order to protect their health and safety. Many states rely on deadlines for requesting and returning absentee ballots within days of Election Day. It is imperative that we have a fully functioning postal service prepared to follow standard delivery times to ensure all votes by mail are counted.
We are sounding the alarm bell: Our democracy is in crisis. We call on Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to condemn the hijacking of one of our most revered institutions, the U.S. Postal Service. We call upon Congress to pass emergency funding for the U.S. Postal Service by a veto-proof majority. We call upon Congress to immediately exercise desperately-needed oversight to ensure that delivery of mail in connection with the November election is unimpeded and untainted by partisanship and an overt attempt to steal this election.
We have fought too long and too hard to fully participate in our democracy to allow it to be subverted in this heinous and scandalous manner. The American people need our leaders to keep our democratic institutions intact and fully operational at any time, and especially now.