Watchdog calls for probe amid fears of 'voter suppression tactics' through Postal Service

USPS coronavirus

A watchdog organization is calling for an investigation and hearings amid concerns about mail-in ballot “voter suppression tactics” by the Trump administration through the United States Postal Service.

“Recent actions” taken by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who was appointed by Donald Trump in May, “will delay prioritizing mail delivery,” which threatens voting by mail, warned a letter Thursday from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). Johnson is the chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

The number of Americans voting by mail is expected to surge across the nation as voters seek to avoid the risk of catching COVID-19 at the polls. Yet DeJoy is slashing overtime for mail carriers and prohibiting employees from making late delivery trips, which will slow the mail, he revealed in an internal memo. DeJoy, who has no experience in the agency, is a prominent Trump donor and the former lead fundraiser for the Republican National Convention.

“We have an underfunded state and local election system and a deliberate slowdown in the Postal Service,” Wendy Fields, the executive director of the Democracy Initiative, told The New York Times. Trump is “deliberately orchestrating suppression and using the post office as a tool to do it,” she said.

Former Democratic leader of the Georgia House and Democratic vice presidential hopeful Stacy Abrams also accused Trump on Sunday of attempting to “steal” the election by manipulating the postal service along with his partisan postmaster general. 

After significant delays by the USPS in delivering absentee ballots to voters in Wisconsin’s April primary, a probe by the USPS Office of Inspector General determined that the agency needed to “strengthen adherence to procedures” and “improve communication and coordination” with election offices.

CREW’s letter, which was also signed by Common Cause Wisconsin, calls on Johnson&rs

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Trump doesn't think Cain caught virus at Tulsa rally

Herman Cain with Black Trump supporters

President Trump said Friday that he’s confident that his recent rally in Tulsa, Okla., isn’t the reason Herman Cain got sick. 

Cain, the entrepreneur, conservative commentator and 2012 presidential candidate, died on Thursday due to complications from COVID-19. The 74-year-old contracted the virus in late June, days after attending the Trump campaign rally there.

Yahoo News asked Trump on Friday if he believed that Cain was exposed to the virus at the rally. “No, I don’t think so,” Trump said.

Trump also expressed his remorse at Cain’s passing.  

“Herman Cain was a great man. He did a fantastic job. He was respected by everybody, he was loved by everybody and we will miss Herman Cain,” said Trump. 

Cain was photographed attending the June 20 rally, which drew about 6,000 attendees, sitting in the crowd close to other high-profile Trump supporters who were not wearing masks. 

Corrin Rankin, an advisory board member on the president’s African-American outreach team, also posted a photo on social media showing Cain indoors prior to the event with Trump supporters including Rankin, Trump campaign adviser Katrina Pierson, Republican Party communications adviser Paris Dennard and Rev. C.L. Bryan. In one of the pictures, Cain was wearing a cloth mask around his chin. It did not cover his face. Rankin has since deleted the photo. 

The event was the largest indoor event in the country since the coronavirus lockdowns began. Nevertheless, it suffered from poor attendance that was potentially due to fear of the pandemic. 

Public health officials in Tulsa subsequently suggested the rally may have contributed to a spike in COVID-19 cases in the area. And on the day of the rally, the Trump campaign announced that six of their advance staffers had tested positive for the virus. The staffers did not attend the rally. 

Earlier this month, Cain's team announced he tested positive for COVID-19 on June 29, nine days after the event. Experts say coronavirus symptoms often occur between one and 14 days after exposu

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Herman Cain, 2012 GOP presidential candidate and businessman, dies at age 74

Herman Cain remains on oxygen a month after being hospitalized with COVID-19

Herman Cain, a former business executive who ran for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, has died at the age of 74.

His website confirmed the news Thursday morning.

Cain reportedly learned that he tested positive for COVID-19 on June 29. He was hospitalized two days later after developing “serious” symptoms, according to a statement shared on his Twitter account at the time.

His diagnosis came less than two weeks after he attended President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Cain, who co-chaired Black Voices for Trump, tweeted a photo of himself without a mask at the event, which was attended by several thousand people.



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