Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced on Tuesday that the state will join a lawsuit against the US Postal service.
The post office instituted reforms that include removing mail sorting equipment and mailboxes, and changing hours of operation. Post office officials said the changes are important to the “long term stability” of the service.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said the reforms were made unlawfully.
“The post office has failed to seek an advisory opinion before it implemented these changes,” she said. “It has to go to the Postal Regulatory Commission and it never did. The postmaster general is acting outside of his given authority in making these changes.”
The changes have caused slowdowns in mail delivery and led Democrats to raise concerns about how it could impact the election. In response to the pandemic, states, including Michigan, have moved to predominantly mail-in systems.
In May, President Donald Trump tweeted that “MAIL-IN VOTING WILL LEAD TO MASSIVE FRAUD AND ABUSE. IT WILL ALSO LEAD TO THE END OF OUR GREAT REPUBLICAN PARTY.”
Nessel said the lawsuit alleges the reforms are an explicit form of voter suppression intended to benefit President Donald Trump.
“But the fact of the matter is it doesn’t really matter the reason that it’s happening the fact is that it has been done illegally and it violates the law.”
The Postmaster General separately announced on Tuesday that he will suspend reforms until after the election “to avoid the appearance of impact on election mail.”
Michigan joins thirteen other states on a lawsuit suing the postal service. A second suit involving six other states has also been filed against the post office.
Nessel said the lawsuit would also impact changes that have already been made. Mail sorting equipment has reportedly been removed from Detroit, Pontiac, and Grand Rapids.
“Whether that means the stripping out of sorting machines, the removal of mailboxes. Those things will be put back into place as they were before the changes were ever made illegally in the first place.”
Also on Tuesday, US Senator Gary Peters announced that he has secured a hearing with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to question him about the changes and why they were made.
That hearing is planned for Friday.