HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Attorney General William Tong announced Tuesday that Connecticut will be part of a multi-state coalition filing a federal lawsuit against the Trump administration over the drastic operational changes at the United States Postal Service.
“It is illegal to interfere with the mail,” he said. “All citizens know that. It is illegal to interfere with the United States Postal Service.”
The lawsuit seeks “to block the unlawful cuts and operational changes at the Postal Service,” according to Attorney General Tong.
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AG Tong said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s new policies have threatened the timely delivery of mail to citizens nationwide.
“The relief that we’re seeking today is that they undo the damage that they have done, that we ask a federal court to declare an order, an injunction that they undo the damage that they have done,” Tong said. “That they stop any future harm to the postal service, and they not take another step in impairing the ability of the postal service to fulfill it’s constitutionally mandated function.”
WATCH: State leaders react to USPS changes
AG Tong said that due to the operational changes, Connecticut will lose eighteen high-speed mail processing machines, capable of sorting around 30,000 letters per hour.
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Tong said he has heard from residents statewide that have already seen delays in mail deliveries of absentee ballots, prescriptions and payments.
“Frankly, our phone and our email have been ringing off the hook with people with specific complaints, not just here in Connecticut, but across the country.”
Postal service employees told the attorney general’s office that overtime is being limited, processing machines are being removed and trucks are being sent out for delivery without waiting for the mail to be sorted and loaded.
President Donald Trump and other Republicans have spoken against mail in voting. Trump claims widespread mail voting will lead to a fraudulent election; however, Tong said that’s not the case.
He said those voting by absentee ballot should mail it in as soon as possible. Tong also ensured that every vote from Connecticut will be counted.
“I will not rest, and we will not stop in our legal efforts. We won’t stop until we have every assurance that the Postal Service is going to do what it has to do…Vote, vote confidently. Know this election is going to happen. Connecticut is going to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to vote.”
Governor Ned Lamont said he applauds Tong for taking legal action. In a series of tweets, he wrote:
I applaud @AGWilliamTong for joining this multistate coalition filing a legal challenge over operational changes at the @USPS that threaten critical mail delivery ahead of the November election. No one should be forced to choose between their health and their right to vote.
This issue goes beyond democracy and hits at the root of fairness and equity. Not everyone can make it to a municipal drop box to ensure their vote counts, but with the help of the postal service we can ensure every voter can has the ability to safely have their vote counted.
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson is leading the lawsuit and will be joined by Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.