Court blocks implementation of serious changes at the Postal Service

September 29, 2020

Operational changes resulted in slower mail and questions about absentee ballots

AUGUSTA - A federal district court granted a preliminary injunction yesterday against changes made by the United States Postal Service (USPS) which have resulted in mail delivery delays and have raised concerns about the timely delivery of absentee ballots to millions of voters across the country. The injunction was granted in response to a multistate lawsuit which was led by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and was joined by Maine Attorney General Aaron M. Frey and the attorneys general of California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. Federal judges in Washington and New York issued similar orders earlier this month. Attorney General Frey released the following statement about the court's decision:

"Yesterday the Court issued an injunction to stop the series of changes imposed on the USPS by the Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. The operational changes had slowed the delivery of mail in Maine and across the country. Yesterdays court order recognizes that the unilateral efforts to incapacitate the Post Office were made improperly and requires that these changes be halted. These efforts to undermine the USPS were not only improper, they constituted an attempt to interfere with the upcoming election by making it more difficult for Mainers to safely vote by mail. The changes also hurt many Mainers who rely on the Post Office for necessary items such as prescription drugs."

"Given the importance of the Post Office to our state, and the fact that more than 240,000 Maine voters have requested absentee ballots, it is important that the Court stepped in. My office will continue to protect the right to vote and will stand up for free and fair elections. Voting absentee is a safe, legal, and secure option available to all Mainers who choose, and all absentee votes cast and received by the close of polls on Election Day will be counted."

Supporting documents