House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Saturday warned voters to ignore President Donald Trump’s increasingly desperate attempts to attack both the US Postal Service and the legitimacy of voting by mail, saying that it is all “designed to suppress the vote.”
In addition to ongoing attacks on mail-in voting, Pelosi said the President’s recent threat now to install law enforcement officers at the polling stations, is part of Trump’s intimidation “playbook.”
The House Speaker addressed reporters during a rare Saturday news conference ahead of a House vote over a $25 billion bill to provide much-needed support to the USPS and ban operational changes.
“We’ve seen their playbook,” Pelosi said of the Trump administration, adding, that in her view the President’s tweet Thursday seized on an opportunity to intimidate voters by inviting ICE agents or other law enforcement to patrol polling stations and “instill fear in people.”
“It’s scary, but ignore that,” Pelosi continued. “It’s a suppress the vote tactic, as is the suppressing of the ability of the postal system to deliver on its responsibility, to treat ballots as first class mail and to deliver in a timely fashion.”
Pelosi’s comments come just a day after Trump-allied postmaster general Louis DeJoy testified in a hearing hosted by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs where he vowed that the mail service would continue to do its best to expedite the delivery of all mail ballots, even those with a cheaper (and slower) postage class.
While DeJoy sought to distance himself from Trump’s attack on mail-in voting, he said that he believes it to be a safe and reliable way to cast a ballot.
“The Postal Service is fully capable of delivering the nation’s election mail securely and on time,” DeJoy told lawmakers on Friday.
On Saturday, Pelosi addressed clashes and untended dissatisfaction with DeJoy, saying that the postmaster general had expressed “no intention” of replacing letter collection boxes or sorting machinery that were reportedly removed from rotation in a number of American cities in recent weeks.
The Washington Post noted that the mail sorting machines set aside to be decommissioned this year amounted to 13 percent of the postal service’s stock — compared to three percent in 2018 and five percent in 2019.
“Let us remember that it is a service,” Pelosi said in her remarks Saturday. “No business that I can think of would ever be saddled with what we’ve done to the Postal Service.”