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California Files Injunction Against US Postal Service Changes

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A U.S. Postal Service mailbox in Miami, Florida. ( Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

California is pushing the U.S. Postal Service to roll back changes that have led to mail delays. Those include removing mail sorting machines and limiting employee overtime. Critics of the changes maintain they're designed to hamper mail-in voting during the presidential election.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra said California is joining a group of states filing a preliminary injunction to reverse the changes while a related lawsuit moves forward.

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"We want to make sure that the U.S. Postal Service is not violating the law, that the Trump administration isn't trying to tamper with the mail," Becerra said.

In recent testimony to the U.S. House Oversight Committee, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy acknowledged the USPS has made some changes, but insisted they were not politically motivated.

“I am not engaged in sabotaging the election,” DeJoy said, adding that, like President Trump, he personally plans to vote by mail.

Still, DeJoy refused to restore decommissioned mail-sorting machines and blue collection boxes, saying they are not needed.

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The injunction being filed by California and other states asks the court to reinstate the status quo prior to the changes.

"They had no right to do that in the first place," Becerra said. "And so simply stopping what was already dismantling of the Postal Service operations isn't sufficient."

The pandemic has pushed the Postal Service into a central role in the 2020 elections, with tens of millions of people expected to vote by mail rather than in person. At the same time, Trump has acknowledged he is withholding emergency aid from the service to make it harder to process mail-in ballots, as his election campaign legally challenges mail voting procedures in key states.

The Associated Press contributed to the report.

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