With an expected surge in 2020 in mail-in voting, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and others have accused the Trump administration of a sinister effort to dismantle the U.S. Postal Service and undermine the election.
"They’re going around literally with tractor trailers picking up mailboxes," Biden said at an online fundraiser last week.
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"From what we see at the postal service, the removal of mailboxes, the removal of equipment within the postal offices and the rest is to undermine the postal service at a time when the postal service is needed now more than ever," Pelosi said.
"I'm really worried that there will be direct interference with the election through the manipulation of the postal service," Clinton said. "There is a deliberate effort to sabotage vote by mail."
"By tampering with the postal service, he is in effect putting his knee on the neck of American democracy," former presidential candidate Al Gore said.
Others have accused Trump of trying to "sabotage" the postal service or even, in Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D., N.Y.) words, "destroy" it.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, however, testified Friday that there "have been no changes in any policies with regard to election mail for the 2020 election." DeJoy is a major donor to President Donald Trump but was elected to his position by a bipartisan board of governors. He announced this week that the USPS would suspend any operational changes until after the election to remove the appearance of impropriety. Trump has repeatedly claimed mass mail-in voting is susceptible to fraud.
Democrats tied innocuous removals of mail collection bins to Republican efforts to disenfranchise voters, but such maneuvers are commonplace from the USPS. In 2016 for instance, the inspector general testified 12,000 collection boxes had been taken out over the previous five years of the Obama administration. Democrats have also attacked DeJoy, a logistics expert, for curbing overtime at the USPS.
Liberals also shared viral photos of mailboxes with locks on them and portrayed them as an effort to sabotage the mail system. In reality, the locks were typical ones to prevent "fishing," or stealing mail.