New York Attorney General Letitia James on Tuesday filed a motion for a preliminary injunction that asks a federal court to prevent President Trump and Postmaster General DeJoy “from continuing down the path of slowing mail operations in lead up to Election Day.”
“We know President Trump’s ultimate goal here is to depress turnout and disenfranchise millions of voters,” James said in a statement. “The president’s actions are the same as those used in dictatorships and authoritarian governments, but we won’t sit idly by as he tries to suppress democracy and every American’s fundamental right to vote.”
James added: “We are filing this motion to stop the president dead in his tracks and to ensure every eligible voter has the opportunity to cast a ballot come November.”
The New York attorney general was joined last week by a number of state and local lawmakers in filing the suit against Trump – one of a number of actions being taken by Democrats who claim the president is trying to suppress the number of mail-in ballots received.
Trump and the Republican Party have argued for months that mail-in voting could lead to possible fraud. The RNC and the Trump campaign have filed lawsuits to hit back against efforts by Democrats to overhaul voting laws in response to the pandemic.
Democrats say that cases of actual voter fraud are limited and claim that Republicans are trying to suppress voter turnout to improve their chances of winning elections.
The United States Postal Service warned 46 states and the District of Columbia in August that it cannot guarantee all ballots cast by mail will arrive in time to be counted in the November election.
The post office is merely “asking elected officials and voters to realistically consider how the mail works, and be mindful of our delivery standards, in order to provide voters ample time to cast ballots through the mail,” DeJoy, a prominent Trump political donor who was recently appointed, recently said.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows last month rejected legislation the House passed to provide $25 billion to USPS and block operational changes by DeJoy. Meadows called it a “political statement,” stressing that Trump would consider additional money only as part of a broader coronavirus relief package.
The Postal Service has been struggling financially under a decline in mail volume, COVID-19-related costs and a rare and cumbersome congressional requirement to fund in advance its retiree health care benefits.
For many, the Postal Service provides a lifeline, delivering not just cards and letters but also prescription drugs, financial statements and other items that are especially needed by mail during the pandemic.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.