Postal Service Chief Units Reorganization Amid Scrutiny Over Mail Ballots

WASHINGTON — The Postal Service on Friday introduced a considerable reorganization meant to extend effectivity as Democratic lawmakers demanded an inquiry into whether or not adjustments by President Trump’s postal officers might threaten the efficient use of mail-in ballots for the November election.

Louis DeJoy, the postmaster normal and a serious donor to Mr. Trump’s campaigns, was named to supervise the service in Could. On Friday, he shifted prime personnel, together with some decades-long veterans of the Postal Service, and made changes to its organizational construction.

“The brand new group will align features primarily based on core enterprise operations and can present extra readability and deal with what the Postal Service does finest; accumulate, course of, transfer and ship mail and packages,” the Postal Service mentioned in an announcement.

The adjustments come at a time of heightened scrutiny for Mr. DeJoy, as critics cost that adjustments to extra time insurance policies and different earlier actions threaten to slow delivery of ballots when thousands and thousands of persons are anticipated to vote by mail due to the coronavirus pandemic.

There are anecdotal stories across the nation of gradual mail supply, and in New York Metropolis, hundreds of ballots in a Democratic major have been invalidated partly as a result of the submit workplace had not delivered a few of them in time.

In feedback on Friday to the Postal Service’s board of governors, Mr. DeJoy said the adjustments he had made — together with limitations on extra time — wouldn’t delay the well timed supply of ballots.

“Regardless of any assertions on the contrary, we’re not slowing down election mail or some other mail,” Mr. DeJoy instructed the board members. “As a substitute, we proceed to make use of a sturdy and confirmed course of to make sure correct dealing with of all election mail.”

That has not glad Mr. Trump’s Democratic adversaries on Capitol Hill, who’ve been vital of the adjustments on the Postal Service and pissed off by Republicans’ refusal to offer billions of {dollars} in extra funding for the company.

Seven Democratic members of Congress urged the inspector normal for the Postal Service to audit the brand new insurance policies imposed by the postmaster normal, saying they have been involved the adjustments “pose a possible menace to mail-in ballots and the 2020 normal election.”

In a letter to the inspector normal, Tammy L. Whitcomb, the lawmakers referred to stories that Mr. DeJoy had restricted extra time pay and made different adjustments that critics say have slowed mail supply and made it much less dependable.

The lawmakers urged Ms. Whitcomb to analyze the impact of the adjustments on the supply of vital mail, together with medicine, paychecks and payments.

“These delays additionally pose a menace to the November election, significantly throughout the coronavirus pandemic when thousands and thousands of People are anticipated to decide on to vote by mail reasonably than wait in lengthy traces on Election Day,” the lawmakers wrote.

The Democratic lawmakers who signed the letter have been Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Gary Peters of Michigan and Thomas R. Carper of Delaware and Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney of New York, Stephen F. Lynch of Massachusetts, Gerald E. Connolly of Virginia and Brenda Lawrence of Michigan.

Democrats, together with those that signed the letter, have charged that Mr. DeJoy is doing the bidding of the president, who has lengthy attacked the Postal Service on Twitter. In his remarks on Friday, Mr. DeJoy rejected that accusation.

“Whereas I actually have a superb relationship with the president of the USA, the notion that I’d ever make choices regarding the Postal Service on the route of the president, or anybody else within the administration, is wholly off-base,” he mentioned. “I serve on the pleasure of the governors of the Postal Service, a bunch that’s bipartisan by statute and that may consider my efficiency in a nonpartisan trend.”

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