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States lose fight to get Postal Service outside monitor for election mail

By Erik Larson, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON — States that claim changes by the U.S. Postal Service will threaten mail-in voting failed again to get an independent monitor appointed to observe the agency's compliance with a court order.

U.S. District Judge Gerald Austin McHugh in Philadelphia on Wednesday denied a request from Pennsylvania's attorney general, Josh Shapiro, to assign a former USPS inspector general to make sure the postal service complies with a national injunction against certain operational changes, including a ban on late-delivery trips.

McHugh, who in September issued one of several nationwide injunctions against the USPS changes, said it's too close to the Nov. 3 election for an outside monitor to be helpful. He cited a judge in another case who denied a similar request for the same reason.

Several judges have issued injunctions against USPS, including one who said it was "easy to conclude" that changes implemented by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a longtime Republican donor, were intended to disrupt and challenge the legitimacy of the Nov. 3 election.

 

Shapiro, leading a group of six states, argued this week that a monitor was urgently needed because the USPS still hadn't returned to the level of delivery performance from before the changes were implemented over the summer, with delays particularly pronounced in urban areas of swing states.

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