• The lawsuits allege DeJoy failed to follow federal law in implementing operation changes that have resulted in delays
  • 18 states joined suits filed by the attorneys general of Washington state and Pennsylvania
  • The postal service advised states earlier this week it could not guarantee the timely delivery of mail-in ballots

Twenty states announced a pair of lawsuits Tuesday to block changes at the postal service that could upend expanded mail-in balloting just as the postmaster general said the changes would be suspended until after the November election.

The attorneys general of Washington and Pennsylvania unveiled the lawsuits, which charge the recent operational changes imposed by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy have had a negative impact on mail delivery. The changes included eliminating overtime, prohibiting carriers from making extra trips, halting outgoing mail processing at state distribution centers and removal of sorting equipment. The changes also included not considering election mail as first class – regardless of the amount of postage affixed.

The postal service advised states earlier this week it could not guarantee the timely delivery of mail-in ballots, which are expected to number more than 80 million.

“For partisan gain, President Trump is attempting to destroy a critical institution that is essential for millions of Americans,” Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a press release. “We rely on the Postal Service for our Social Security benefits, prescriptions — and exercising our right to vote. Our coalition will fight to protect the Postal Service and uphold the rule of law in federal court.”

“Recent post office changes have been implemented recklessly, before checking the law, and we will use our authority to stop them and help ensure that every eligible ballot is counted,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a separate release.

The lawsuits allege DeJoy acted outside his authority and failed to follow procedures laid out in federal law.

DeJoy maintains he needs to make changes at the postal service to put it on a better financial footing. The agency is billions of dollars in the red and Trump has been blocking an emergency infusion of cash.

The Washington state suit was joined by Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin. California, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts and North Carolina joined the Pennsylvania suit.