Democratic congressional candidate Becky Grossman says her campaign plans to sue the state of Massachusetts over its mail-in ballots rules, amid growing concern about whether problems at the U.S. Postal Service could hinder upcoming elections.
"We want to make sure that every voter has a full chance to cast their ballot,” the former prosecutor said.
Grossman, an at-large Newton City Councilor, is running to replace Rep. Joe Kennedy III -- who has his eyes on the Senate -- in the state's fourth congressional district.
With the primary two weeks away, Grossman says she is worried some votes won't count, saying Trump is attacking the postal service here in Massachusetts and around the country.
“President Trump is actively trying to sabotage the United States Postal Service, and it is undermining the right to vote,” she said.
Grossman's lawsuit will ask the Massachusetts courts to order Secretary of State William Galvin to ensure that mail-in ballots be counted as long as they are postmarked by Sept. 1 and received up to 10 days after that day.
“All ballots that are postmarked by Election Day should be counted,” she said. "If action is not taken, there are going to be voters who cast their ballots and they’re not going to count.”
United States Postal Service and the Election
Multiple controversies involving the postal service have made headlines in recent days, including the agency's plans to get rid of letter-sorting equipment and its warning to most states that it might not be able to deliver mail-in ballots on time in November. But the primary comes even sooner, which is why Grossman is hoping to get a court to give voters more time.
Grossman says voters from Fall River to North Attleboro to Brookline are at risk of not having their ballots counted.
"That’s simply unacceptable," she said in a statement. "That’s why I’m going to court to fight this."
Her campaign says it is especially concerned -- with just two weeks to go -- that some voters in some areas have not yet received their ballots, giving them a short amount of time to return them after they finally get them.
“You shouldn’t have to risk your health or your family’s health to have your vote counted,” Grossman said in a statement. “Every voter in the district deserves equal - and safe - access to our democracy.”
NBC10 Boston reached out to Secretary Galvin's office for comment but has not heard back yet. Grossman's campaign plans to file the suit the week of Monday, Aug. 17, according to her statement. The campaign is being represented by Jeff Robbins and Joseph Lipchitz of the law firm Saul Ewing Arnstern & Lehr, L.L.P.
More U.S.P.S. Concerns in Massachusetts
Meanwhile, Democratic leaders are calling on top U.S. Postal Service officials to testify before Congress after the agency expressed concerns about the ability to handle mail-in voting. This comes as the postal service cuts overtime and reduces the use of mail processing machines.
The postal service announced late Sunday afternoon that it'll stop removing drop boxes nationwide for 90 days -- which means until after Election Day.
Images showing drop boxes on the back of trucks -- like one taken Friday in Brighton -- have popped up on social media from across the country. The postal service claims it routinely removes underused drop boxes, but some lawmakers are skeptical, considering the timing of it all.
This week it was revealed that the postal service warned 46 states -- including all New England states except for Rhode Island -- that it might not be able to deliver mail-in ballots in time to be counted in November.
The postmaster general is set to testify before a congressional committee next week, about a month earlier than expected.