Image

5:36 PM / Wednesday February 8, 2023

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.

___

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

Local

City Commissioner Omar Sabir and community partners hold press conference kicking off Philly Rises tour

February 7, 2023

Tweet Share Pin Email City Commissioner Omar Sabir hosted a press conference to kick off the 2nd...

Entertainment

Philly Cultural Beat – February 2023

February 3, 2023

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Gregory Porter (Photos courtesy: Philly Cultural Beat) By Steve Bryant February’s...

Go With The-Flo

Priceless will sing in the Roz Live musical tribute “GLADYS” at 54 Below in New York City

February 3, 2023

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Priceless Photo courtesy:  Priceless By Flo Anthony Following her $24 million...

Oasis

cj speaks…  Waiting on the Lord

February 3, 2023

Tweet Share Pin Email No matter what is going on in your life, you rise to the...

Health

Are you ready to prioritize your health goals?

February 3, 2023

Tweet Share Pin Email Help protect yourself against pneumococcal pneumonia. BPT The beginning of a new year...

Food And Beverage

Gift decadence during this season of love

February 3, 2023

Tweet Share Pin Email FAMILY FEATURES Valentine’s Day may traditionally be a lovers’ holiday, but it’s also...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff