Trump and his Republican enablers are hard at work destroying our democracy. They are rigging the election in plain sight.
Without any evidence, Trump is laying the groundwork for disputing the election results by claiming that mail-in voting leads to widespread fraud. He has even suggested the country may need a “do over” election since he contends that the only way he will lose is if the election is rigged. Still, election experts state that “election fraud is extremely rare in all instances.”
In June, Trump appointed a Republican Party megadonor, Louis DeJoy, as Postmaster General. With major investments in competing postal businesses, DeJoy’s directing the USPS is a huge conflict of interest. Now he’s aiding his private investments, as well as Trump’s re-election efforts, by initiating debilitating changes at the postal service.
DeJoy has ordered the removal of hundreds of mail-sorting machines, aimed at slowing down mail service and jeopardizing mail-in voting around the country. Seven such machines were recently removed from just one postal center alone in West Philadelphia, a Democratic stronghold. He has also had mailboxes removed in parts of New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Montana, making it more difficult for people to vote by mail.
But, it’s even worse than that. Former Republican National Committee chairman, Mike Duncan, is now the chair of USPS’ six-man board of governors—which rubberstamped DeJoy’s appointment. He is also the current chairman of the Senate Leadership Fund— a $100 million Republican super PAC. Plus, Duncan has “myriad links to companies with a direct interest in the postal service policy he oversees.”
DeJoy has agreed to testify before Senate and House committees tomorrow and early next week to answer for his actions. And, while he has said that he will suspend his postal service cutting efforts until after the election, DeJoy stated that he has no intention of granting necessary overtime or replacing the mail sorting machines or mailboxes that have been removed. So, can this Trump megadonor be trusted with our mail-in votes?
Not according to House Majority Whip James Clyburn. On Tuesday Rep. Clyburn stated that he is “not one bit” reassured by DeJoy’s promise that cost-cutting measures will be postponed until after the November election, ensuring that mail-in ballots are delivered on time. One has to wonder what DeJoy will do come October when Trump, still trailing in the polls, pressures him.
Meanwhile, Trump’s Republican cohorts in the Senate are still refusing to provide funding so that the USPS can deliver mail-in ballots on time and the election process can be protected in each state.
If we are to save our democracy, we all must act to protect the postal service and our sacred right to vote. Here’s what we can do:
- Pressure DeJoy to restore all the equipment, services and personnel. Contact him at Louis DeJoy’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Pressure the USPS board of governors — all of whom are Trump appointed and supported the $25 billion USPS funding now being held up by Senate Republicans — to require DeJoy to immediately restore all equipment, services and personnel. Contact them:
- Robert “Mike” Duncan at email@example.com
- John M. Barger at firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Ron A. Bloom at email@example.com
- Roman Martinez IV at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Donald L Moak at email@example.com
- William D. Zollars at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call Speaker Pelosi (202-225-4965) and your congressperson (Rep. Ben Ray Lujan at (202) 225-6190, Debra Haaland at (202) 225-6316, and Rep. Xochitl Torres Small 202-225-2365). Urge them to immediately pass a stand-alone bill providing $25 billion to ensure the USPS is fully operational as well as $3.6 billion for voter protection for the states to ensure all Americans can vote safely and every vote is counted in the November elections.
- Vote early, preferably in-person. Early voting in-person will guarantee your vote will be counted.
- If you need to vote by mail, the earlier you request your mail-in ballot and return it, the more likely your ballot will arrive on time and be counted. Check with your county clerk’s office for important deadlines.
- Organize to get others to vote early. Call/email everyone you know and urge them to vote early.
- Provide rides for others without vehicles to vote early. Check with your local party HQ to see if it is organizing rides.
- Assist others in obtaining and returning their mail-in ballots.
- Volunteer at your local party HQ or with an organization working on voter protection, such as:
The time to act is now. The survival of our democracy depends on all of us doing our part!
A retired, public sector ethics attorney, Berlin is the author of Breaking Big Money’s Grip on America (See breakingbigmoneysgrip.com.), the founder of New Mexicans for Money Out of Politics, a former U.S. Institute of Peace fellow, and the founder and former executive director of The Trinity Forum for International Security and Conflict Resolution. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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