CARSON CITY, Nev. (KLAS) — Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford is banding together with Attorneys General from 13 other states in a lawsuit over US Postal Service changes.
The multistate coalition’s lawsuit aims to stop “the unlawful” service reductions and operations changes to the service, according to a news release. These changes include:
- Eliminating staff overtime
- Altering operations at state distribution centers
- Requiring late-arriving mail to be left for delivery the next day
- Stop processing outgoing mail at some state distribution centers
- Removing critical mail sorting equipment
- End of processing ballots as first-class mail, regardless of what type of postage is used
The Attorney General’s Office says changes threaten the timely delivery of medical prescriptions, social security checks, ballots, etc. They also say it will stunt Nevada’s economic growth during a time when it is most needed due to not delivering goods from many Nevada businesses in a timely manner.
“Our Postal Service mails prescription medications, social security and unemployment checks, and ballots, to name a few,” said Ford in the release. “Attempting to cut their budget at a time when Americans need these critical services the most is both unlawful and unprecedented. Nevadans can rest assured that I won’t tolerate these reckless changes.”
The office says mail delays are already being experienced and that changes will impact certain communities and demographics, from rural communities to seniors and veterans.
One of the biggest delays noted is that in the delivery of prescription drugs. The AG’s Office says veterans are reporting longer wait times to receive their mail-order prescription drugs. They note the VA processes around 120 million mail-order prescriptions a year, with the Postal Service delivering to 330,000 of those veterans.
Mail-in elections is another contested issue, with the office saying eligible Nevadans have been doing mail-in voting for several years. This year, all active registered voters in Nevada are to receive mail ballots due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the AG says they are counting on their ballots being delivered on time.
The lawsuit alleges the Postal Service did not follow proper procedures to make changes to the system under federal law. The AG’s Office says the service must submit changes that will cause a nationwide impact in mail service to the Postal Regulatory Commission and that it failed to do so. This procedure is the states’ “statutory right,” meant to give them a chance to comment and notice the changes.
Other Attorneys General taking part in this lawsuit represent the states of:
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island