WA Democrats Stand Up for Postal Service While GOP ‘Leaders’ Remain Silent

GOP SOS Wyman fails to challenge Trump’s Postmaster General amidst attempts to sabotage mail-in voting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | August 19, 2020  

SEATTLE — Yesterday, the Trump administration capitulated to nationwide outrage over Trump’s attempt to sabotage the USPS before the election, admitting they would “suspend” further changes to the postal service. But merely halting the ongoing assault on the USPS isn’t enough; Washingtonians need assurances that recent changes at the USPS already causing delays in delivery of prescriptions and Social Security checks will be reversed before they cause a single ballot to go uncounted this November.

Washington Democrats are fighting back to make sure every vote and every voters is protected. On Monday, candidate for Secretary of State Gael Tarleton held a press conference with federal and local leaders demanding that these policies be reversed and the Postmaster General clarify that every mail-in ballot will be delivered in time to be counted. During her remarks, Rep. Tarleton announced Democratic state legislators are working with Governor Inslee and local county auditors to expand ballot boxes, require counties to mail ballots out earlier, extend the election certification deadline so every vote can be counted, and call on Secretary of State Kim Wyman to use election security funds to implement these changes as necessary. 

Democratic majorities in Olympia have appropriated more than $2 million to fund election security statewide, and those funds should be available to local county auditors to implement these changes and educate voters about the potential for their vote to go uncounted due to postal service delays.

Democratic Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced on Tuesday that he is leading a coalition of states in suing Trump’s Postmaster General to defend our elections from sabotage by the Trump administration.

What has the GOP done to protect Washingtonians’ right to vote? Nothing. Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman decried the well-founded concern about postal service sabotage as “politicizing” election administration, and simply parroted the recommendation from Trump’s head of the USPS that “voters mail completed ballots a week before Election Day” despite Washingtonians being legally entitled to a full 18-day voting period to complete and return their ballots.

Wyman’s crocodile tears about politicizing election administration should not be taken as anything less than a partisan attempt to hide the ball from Washingtonian voters about the risks the Trump administration’s sabotage poses to our election. In fact, she has demonstrated that she’s more than comfortable using her office for partisan purposes, calling on the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Department of Homeland Security to investigate a baseless rumor spun up on social media about a Democratic candidate for the state legislature during the primary voting period.

And Wyman isn’t the only Republican elected official who was more than happy to traffic in conspiracy theories about the postal service for partisan gain. Jim Walsh, Luanne Van Werven, and J.T. Wilcox further spread that rumor once Secretary Wyman lent her office’s legitimacy to the conspiracy. Additionally, Minority Leader Wilcox’s tweet was amplified by WA GOP State Party Chair Caleb Heimlich, Jennifer Sefzik, and Matt Boehnke, among others.

“What we’ve learned in the last few weeks is clear: Washington state Republicans are no different than the president they support when it comes to protecting Washingtonians’ right to vote,” said Tina Podlodowski, Chair of the Washington State Democratic Party. “From Secretary Wyman down to their candidates for state legislature, they’re happy to spread baseless partisan conspiracy theories but are nowhere to be found when Trump makes very real threats to our most sacred right in our democracy.”