Protesters gathered outside the home of Louis DeJoy, the Postmaster General of the United States Postal Service, on Saturday morning as fears over mail-in voter suppression grow ahead of the 2020 election.
A crowd of people brought air horns, drums, pots and pans and other noisemakers outside DeJoy’s Washington, D.C., home for a “noise demonstration.” Some protesters stuffed fake absentee ballots into the building’s front door as well. According to local news station WUSA 9, the protest was organized by a direct action group called Shut Down D.C.
“DeJoy has fired or reassigned much of the existing USPS leadership and ordered the removal of mail sorting machines that are fundamental to the functioning of the postal service. Meanwhile, mail delivery is slowing down under other decisions made by DeJoy, such as eliminating overtime for postal workers,” Shut Down D.C. said in a statement to WUSA 9.
The group believes that DeJoy’s actions are in favor of President Trump’s re-election and contribute to voter suppression, according to WUSA 9.
The USPS recently sent letters to states saying that it could not guarantee that all mail-in ballots will be counted in time for the 2020 election. With coronavirus still a major health risk in the U.S., mail-in voting is predicted to hit unprecedented levels this November. Business at the USPS has also been impacted harshly, with the Associated Press reporting that the organization had a $4.5 billion loss in Q1.
Trump has frequently raised questions about the legitimacy of mail-in voting ahead of the 2020 election, and he was candid with Fox Business Network about stalling USPS funding in a recent interview.
“If we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money,” Trump said. “That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting; they just can’t have it.”
Many people around the country and celebrities have called for more funding and support of the USPS.
“Trump’s calculated dismantling of USPS proves one thing clearly: He is well aware that we do not want him as our president. He’s chosen to blatantly cheat and put millions of Americans’ lives at risk in an effort to hold on to power,” wrote Taylor Swift on Twitter. “Donald Trump’s ineffective leadership gravely worsened the crisis that we are in and he is now taking advantage of it to subvert and destroy our right to vote and vote safely. Request a ballot early. Vote early.”