USPS Still Not Sorting Election Mail Fast Enough, States Say

TheU.S. Postal Service still isn’t processing election mail on time, even after being ordered by judges to halt disruptive changes like banning worker overtime and late delivery trips, Pennsylvania’s attorney general told a judge.

USPS data show the postal agency’s performance levels are down more than 5% from where they were before the changes took effect in July and “continue to be lower than at any point in 2020,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a federal court filing Monday in Philadelphia.

“Despite being subject to multiple injunctions, defendants have not improved their service performance,” said Shapiro, who has asked U.S. District Judge Gerald Austin McHugh to appoint an independent monitor to ensure the USPS abides by court orders.

Read More: USPS Needs Monitor to Ensure Election Compliance, States Say

Democrats have accused Postmaster General Louis DeJoy of undermining the USPS just as the nation is expecting a record surge in use of mail-in ballots due to the pandemic. Several judges have issued injunctions, including one who said it was“easy to conclude” that DeJoy’s changes were intended to disrupt and challenge the legitimacy of the Nov. 3 election.

Shapiro, who’s leading one of three multistate suits, said USPS compliance with rules about election-mail processing and daily delivery is supposed to be at 100%. But according to USPS data, he said, compliance is as low as 85% in one division and some units aren’t reporting figures at all.

Shapiro also said that late and extra trips by USPS mail carriers, which are supposed to be reinstated under the injunction, have barely nudged up and are nowhere near pre-July levels, suggesting more could be done to improve performance.

The USPS responded in a letter to the court on Tuesday that it was complying with the court order.

“The preliminary injunction does not speak to service performance levels, or require USPS to guarantee a certain aggregate number of late or extra trips, but rather requires USPS to maintain and convey certain specific operational policies,” the postal agency said.

The USPS also said that failures by some units to report data were isolated, and that service is improving in some regions. The lagging performance doesn’t justify appointing a monitor, the agency said, adding that it needs to focus on delivering millions of ballots that are already being sent.

“USPS asks that it be allowed to perform its duty in this important period, rather than continuing to litigate unnecessary disputes before this court,” the postal agency said.

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