As Democrats gear up for the finale of the, party leaders are accusing President Trump and his handpicked Postmaster General Louis DeJoy of making changes to the U.S. Postal Service to hinder voting access.
DeJoy isbefore Congress about these changes, and he has now agreed to until after the election. Recent delays in mail delivery, a management shakeup and reports of mail-sorting equipment being dismantled sparked widespread concerns about whether the U.S. Postal Service would be able to handle an expected flood of absentee ballots this fall.
Mr. Trump has denied involvement in the overhaul — a claim Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez found hard to believe.
“We have lost faith in the Postal Service because of the sabotage of the president,” Perez told CBSN anchor Vladimir Duthiers Wednesday. “We are not going to tolerate it.”
The USPS is being sued by over 20 states’ attorneys general. The controversy comes on top of longstanding concerns among Democrats about voter suppression and disenfranchisement.
“That is why we are going to continue these efforts, and we’re going to court to make sure these suppression tactics aren’t allowed to continue,” Perez said.
He called it “shameful” but “not surprising” that President Trump would take action to “make it harder for eligible people to vote.”
Protecting voter access and increasing turnout have been significant themes at this year’s convention. Perez said the Democratic Party has “built the most aggressive and muscular infrastructure that’s ever been constructed” to.
“We are using every tool in the toolbox,” he said. “This infrastructure, voter protection, has never been more robust.”
Those tools, according to Perez, include working with local authorities to add ballot drop-boxes to neighborhoods without adequate mail access. Their efforts will also include litigation, organization, data and technology, Perez said.
On the legal front, the Democratic National Committee has been filing lawsuits to combat shifting election deadlines and other state actions that the party says could hinder voting.
“That’s how we are able to get 90,000 voters enfranchised this past April. We are doing the same thing now to ensure those voters can vote in November,” Perez promised.
He pointed Americans to the website iwillvote.com, which allows residents in all 50 states to check their voter registration status and provides specific details on voting in their state.
“This is our democracy that is on the ballot,” Perez said. “We are not going to tolerate efforts to interfere with the exercise of the most fundamental right, that right to vote.”