(WASHINGTON, DC) — Today, the NAACP filed suit in the United States District Court of Washington, D.C. against the United States Postal Service and Postmaster General of the United States Postal Service, Louis Dejoy. The lawsuit alleges that Dejoy has impeded the timely distribution of mail, implemented crippling policies on postal workers, and sabotaged the United States Postal Service in a blatant attempt to disenfranchise voters of color, who are already more harshly impacted by the coronavirus and require alternative methods to in-person voting to protect their health and safety.
“As the country faces an uphill battle against COVID-19 and systemic racism, we’re witnessing a significant onslaught against our postal system at a time when prompt mail delivery matters more than ever, especially for voters of color,” said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO, NAACP. “This willful and blatant attempt to obstruct the mail system amidst a pandemic and on the precipice of a pivotal election is a direct threat to the people of this nation’s right to vote in a fair and free election.”
The Lawsuit, which addresses DeJoy’s significant new restrictions on the nature of letter carrier routes, seeks to suspend these changes and restore prompt and reliable mail delivery and ensure that mail-in ballots are a priority as they have been in past years. Since implementing his operational “pivot,” there have been substantial delays with entire towns in rural areas not receiving their mail on certain days and people in some cities going days or weeks without receiving any mail at all. These delays have caused Americans to go without medicines and benefits, and they have prevented eligible Americans from voting by mail in their primary elections.
The coronavirus pandemic has directed the nation’s attention to the necessity of our postal system and the crucial role it plays in upholding our democracy. This cynical attack on the United States Postal Service places our democracy in danger, and the backlog of mail has caused extraordinary legal, political, economic and health repercussions. The people of this nation deserve better. The NAACP is committed to fighting long and hard to ensure its members and the people of this nation have unfettered access to the ballot box, whether by voting in-person or by utilizing mail-in voting.
Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.
The NAACP is a c4 organization (contributions are not tax-deductible), and we have a partner c3 organization known as NAACP Empowerment Programs (contributions are fully tax-deductible as allowed by the IRS).
NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but separated in 1957 to become a completely separate entity. It is recognized as the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and shares our commitment to equal rights.