Statement: Federal Court Issues Preliminary Injunction Against Postal Policies that Could Slow Election Mail

September 18, 2020

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Yesterday, Judge Stanley Bastian of the federal district court in Washington state issued a nationwide order prohibiting the Postal Service from making major operational changes before the November election. The lawsuit was led by the State of Washington, and it was joined by Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The Court was concerned that Postmaster General DeJoy was making or allowing operational changes or policies that could slow down the mail and result in the disenfranchisement of voters. The Judge directed the Postal Service to stop these changes, and not make any more changes that could interfere with the high quality of mail service that postal workers are rightly proud to provide the people of the country.

The injunction should mean a return to the policies and practices postal workers know that have successfully facilitated voting by mail for decades. Millions of people need to vote by mail this year to be safe and healthy. Millions more will want to vote by mail in the future. With this Court order and the PMG’s commitments to Congress, combined with the dedication of postal workers to our mission of public service, the people of the country should be confident in the Postal Service’s ability to safely and securely process and deliver election mail this fall.

This year has brought postal workers many unprecedented challenges, tragedies and successes. A federal court stepping in to stop bad management of our treasured public Postal Service is the latest. It underscores how important the Postal Service is, not only to postal workers and our families, but to the democratic process as well.

The APWU calls on the Postal Service to keep its promises and follow the rule of law. And the APWU will be there to make sure it does, working at every level to make sure election mail is handled with the same care and speed that has always been the Postal Service’s tradition for voting by mail.

Postal workers are proud to serve the public no matter what challenges we face, whether they come from outside or inside the Postal Service. Together we’ll continue our hard work to preserve and expand a public Postal Service that meets the needs of our families, our community, and our country.

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