Tom Hanks, the world's most famous typewriter enthusiast, called on Americans to "protect" their right to vote amid the ongoing chaos with the U.S. Postal Service. President Donald Trump has railed against mail-in voting, and the USPS has warned states it could be difficult for mail-in ballots to be counted due to cuts made by Trump's handpicked Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy. Trump admitted he does not want funding for the USPS included in the next coronavirus relief package because Democrats support universal mail-in voting.
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"We will vote. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night... will keep us from voting," Hanks wrote in a typed letter, referencing the Postal Service's motto. "Register to vote. Cast your vote. Protect your right to vote," Hanks added simply. The Toy Story actor did not allow comments on the post, but over 49,000 fans have shown their support by liking the post.
Hanks is not the only celebrity to weigh in on the situation. Musician Taylor Swift said Trump's "calculated dismantling" of the USPS shows, "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." The "Cashmere" singer tweeted, "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."
On Friday, it was reported that USPS general counsel and executive vice president Thomas Marshall sent letters to 46 states, warning some that their deadlines are "incongruous" with current delivery standards. In the letter, Marshall warned that the deadlines will cause a "mismatch" that risks "ballots requested near the deadline under state law will not be returned by mail in time to be counted under your laws as we understand them."
In Pennsylvania, officials included its letter from the USPS in a filing to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, asking that ballots delivered up to three days after Election Day still be counted. Since Trump has repeatedly falsely said mail-in voting leads to massive voting fraud, the judge in the case has ordered the Trump campaign to provide evidence of fraud. A hearing on the evidence is set for September, reports CNN.
On Friday, the USPS internal watchdog said it will review DeJoy's controversial policies after Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren put in a request, reports CNN. Some of DeJoy's policies included eliminating overtime and slowing mail delivery. The USPS is also removing mail sorting facilities around the country with no explanation, Vice reported this week. "It'll force the mail to be worked by human hands in sorting," a USPS source told the Washington Post. "Guarantees to STOP productivity. On top of cutting the overtime needed to run the machines, can you imagine the OT needed to do this to old hard way?"