October 15, 2020

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Latest News, Montana

Dem Govs Get It Done: Lawsuit Filed By Gov. Steve Bullock Forces Postal Service to Reverse Changes That Slowed Mail Service Nationwide

Thanks to Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, the United States Postal Service agreed to reverse the harmful changes that slowed mail service nationwide and threatened to put the upcoming election at risk.

Gov. Bullock filed a lawsuit against the USPS on September 8th, arguing that the changes impeded access to mail services in Montana, delayed delivery of important items including prescriptions, bills, payments, Social Security checks, job applications and more, and made it more difficult for Montanans to vote by mail.

Under the agreement reached yesterday with Gov. Bullock, the USPS will prioritize election mail, which is extremely important considering a record number of Americans will likely submit ballots through the mail during the pandemic, and reverse the controversial changes in all states.

Gov. Bullock said, “Montanans never gave up this fight and as a result, we are ensuring stability through and beyond the election by immediately restoring the mail services folks rely on, whether it’s receiving vital medication or ensuring they can pay their bills on time.”

Read more about how Gov. Bullock pressured the USPS to undo the changes below.

Associated Press: Postal Service agrees to reverse service changes

The U.S. Postal Service agreed Wednesday to reverse changes that slowed mail service nationwide, settling a lawsuit filed by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock during a pandemic that is expected to force many more people to vote by mail.

The lawsuit filed against Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the U.S. Postal Service on Sept. 9 argued changes implemented in June harmed access to mail services in Montana, resulting in delayed delivery of medical prescriptions, payments, and job applications, and impeding the ability of Montana residents to vote by mail.

The postal service agreed to reverse all changes, which included reduced retail hours, removal of collection boxes and mail sorting machines, closure or consolidation of mail processing facilities, restriction of late or extra trips for timely mail delivery, and banning or restricting overtime.

The agreement also requires the Postal Service to prioritize election mail.

The settlement agreement was reached a day ahead of a hearing in the U.S. District Court in Great Falls. It applies to all states.

“Montanans never gave up this fight and as a result, we are ensuring stability through and beyond the election by immediately restoring the mail services folks rely on, whether it’s receiving vital medication or ensuring they can pay their bills on time,” Bullock said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Many more voters are expected to vote by mail this November to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of Montana counties are holding elections by mail, after a directive by Bullock permitted them to do so to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Bullock is running for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

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