Protesters gathered outside the home of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Saturday to share their outrage over the apparent suppression of mail-in voting. Since DeJoy took over his job in June, the USPS has been facing massive cuts, while President Donald Trump rails against mail-in voting despite experts' assurance that it is as safe as in-person voting. The crowd outside DeJoy's house on Saturday made sure that he did not forget how they felt about it.
Protesters began appearing outside of DeJoy's home in Washington, D.C. on Saturday morning, according to a report by Variety. They brought with them drums, air horns, pots and pans, and other means of making noise to disturb the Postmaster General. DeJoy was appointed to his job in June following a career as a tech businessman. He was a big donor to Trump's previous campaign, and is a controversial choice for his office to many.
The protest was reportedly organized by a direct action group called Shut Down D.C., and was planned to be a "noise demonstration." It also featured signs, chants and stunts, such as people leaving piles of fake mail-in ballots on the door for DeJoy to count. A spokesperson for Shut Down D.C. gave a statement to local news station WUSA 9 explaining some of these measures.
"DeJoy has fired or reassigned much of the existing USPS leadership and ordered the removal of mail sorting machines that are fundamental to the functioning of the postal service. Meanwhile, mail delivery is slowing down under other decisions made by DeJoy, such as eliminating overtime for postal workers," they said.
Protesters say they are outside Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s apartment building to protest his destructive leadership ahead of mass mail-in voting in the 2020 presidential election.@wusa9 pic.twitter.com/i2RXEESefO— Kolbie Satterfield (@KolbieReports) August 15, 2020
The protest follows some big news from the USPS this week, including a report by CNN that they were actively removing letter collection boxes from the street in many states. Late on Friday, a spokesperson for the Western region of the USPS told CNN that the removal of mailboxes would stop, but another spokesperson from the national headquarters could not confirm this.
Meanwhile, the USPS recently sent letters to various state leaders, informing them that their reduced working capacity might prevent them from reliably delivering all the mail-in ballots for the 2020 election on time. Many states have pivoted to mail-in voting in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. While Trump argues that the method is not secure, it has been used for years for absentee voters, military personnel and other circumstances.