Image

5:14 AM / Monday October 26, 2020

15 Oct 2020

Postal Service agrees to reverse service changes

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
October 15, 2020 Category: Stateside Posted by:

By IRIS SAMUELS

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service agreed Wednesday to reverse changes that slowed mail service nationwide, settling a lawsuit filed by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock during a pandemic that is expected to force many more people to vote by mail.

The lawsuit filed against Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the U.S. Postal Service on Sept. 9 argued changes implemented in June harmed access to mail services in Montana, resulting in delayed delivery of medical prescriptions, payments, and job applications, and impeding the ability of Montana residents to vote by mail.

The postal service agreed to reverse all changes, which included reduced retail hours, removal of collection boxes and mail sorting machines, closure or consolidation of mail processing facilities, restriction of late or extra trips for timely mail delivery, and banning or restricting overtime.ADVERTISEMENT

The agreement also requires the Postal Service to prioritize election mail.

The settlement agreement was reached a day ahead of a hearing in the U.S. District Court in Great Falls. It applies to all states.

“Montanans never gave up this fight and as a result, we are ensuring stability through and beyond the election by immediately restoring the mail services folks rely on, whether it’s receiving vital medication or ensuring they can pay their bills on time,” Bullock said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Many more voters are expected to vote by mail this November to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of Montana counties are holding elections by mail, after a directive by Bullock permitted them to do so to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Bullock is running for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

The agreement comes after a federal judge temporarily blocked the controversial Postal Service changes on Sept. 17, calling the changes “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election.

Judge Stanley Bastian in Yakima, Washington, issued the nationwide preliminary injunction sought by 14 states that brought forward a separate suit against the Trump administration and the U.S. Postal Service. The 14 states, led by Democratic attorneys general, expressed concern that delays might result in voters not receiving ballots or registration forms in time.

Following a national uproar last month, DeJoy, a major donor to President Donald Trump and the GOP, announced he was suspending some of the changes, including the removal of mail collection boxes, but other changes remained in place.

___

Image

This story has been corrected to accurately spell the name of Louis DeJoy.

___

Samuels is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Sun Report

For Trump, city where ‘bad things happen’ looms large

October 23, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Philadelphia resident Dexter Ayres talks with The Associated Press outside his...

Seniors

Five tips for managing high cholesterol

October 23, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email Family Features High cholesterol is one of the major controllable risk factors for...

Week In Review

Rush, Bacon introduce legislation to honor Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley

October 23, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email WASHINGTON — On October 16, U.S. Representatives Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) and Don...

Health

Virus surges in key battleground states as election nears

October 23, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Voters line up at an early voting satellite location at the...

Horoscopes

SUNscopes for the week of October 25

October 23, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email All Signs: Halloween can be full of surprises, “Trick-or-treat!” However, this year Halloween...

Color Of Money

Budget-friendly tips for a safe and joyous holiday 2020

October 23, 2020

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT Uncertainty continues into the 2020 holiday season, with limited travel, canceled events...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff