Perlmutter talks mail as cutbacks to post office are suspended

Congressman Ed Perlmutter spoke to the media outside the Felix Sparks Post Office

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Lakewood, Colo.-, August 24, 2020 | comments

During World War II, Felix Sparks was part of Operation Dragoon, which liberated southern France, and the Battle of the Bulge — the German's last major offensive in the war that was unsuccessful and depleted German armored forces.

After the war, Sparks moved to Colorado where he was elected district attorney in Delta, Colorado. He was appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court and spent time in the Colorado Army National Guard. And he lived in Lakewood — the city where there is a postal office named after him at 10799 W. Alameda Ave.

“He would be rolling over in his grave today if he knew of the efforts the administration is going to try to slow down the mail to sabotage this next election,” said Congressman Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat who represents Colorado's 7th Congressional District which includes Golden, Arvada, Lakewood and Westminster.

Perlmutter visited the Felix Sparks Post Office on Aug. 18 to make remarks to the media about changes that were being made at the time to the US Postal Service. Changes to the postal service like limiting post office hours, cutting overtime for postal service employees and removing mail sorting machines were causing delays in mail delivery, the New York Times reported.

The changes, which Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said he would suspend until after the election shortly after Perlmutter's remarks, were happening at a time when millions of Americans are expected to vote by mail for the upcoming November presidential election because of the pandemic. Some have accused him of trying to delay mail-in voting ahead of the election — allegations which he called “outrageous,” the New York Times reported.

“There has been no changes to any policies with regard to election mail,” DeJoy said at an Aug. 21 Senate committee hearing. DeJoy is a major donor to President Donald Trump, the New York Times reported, and was appointed to his position in May.

“The Postal Service is fully capable and committed to delivering the nation's election mail fully and on time,” he added.

Having first won the seat in 2006, Perlmutter is up for relelction this year, facing Casper Stockham (GOP), Ken Biles (Lib.), David Olszta (Unity and Anthony Malgieri (Ind.)

Perlmutter said in a statement that regardless of DeJoy suspending changes to the US Postal Service, he would still vote in favor of the Delivering for America Act — a bill passed in the House of Representatives on Aug. 22 that stops US Postal Service cutbacks until after the presidential election.

“(If) you slow down the mail, which is a pillar of our democracy — the post office is a part of our constitution. You are hurting this country in a terrible way to just try to protect an election,” Perlmutter told Colorado Community Media. “It hurts people who get their medical supplies and medicines through the mail, it hurts people who get their social security checks through the mail, it hurts businesses that do their work through the mail, and it has this other effect on potentially hurting this next election.”

Trump has recently made unproven claims that mail-in voting is unsafe. He accused Democrats of trying to steal the election as the party pushes for mail-in voting.

“This is going to be the greatest scam in history. This will be the most fraudulent election in history,” Trump told Fox News on Aug. 20. “It's a terrible thing. They are trying to steal the election.”

During the recent state primary, Colorado voters set a record for the largest turnout in a primary in state history with nearly 1.6 million ballots cast. More than 99% of votes were cast on mail-in ballots. Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said in a statement that despite misleading attacks and disinformation, Colorado's election shows that mail ballots are key to accessible voting during the pandemic. Perlmutter echoed her statement.

“The system is working. It doesn't need to be hampered like the president wants it to be,” he said. “Colorado is the gold standard for voting by mail. We've seen the numbers of people take advantage of that grow every year because it's so easy for people to have their voice heard.”

Content originally published by Colorado Community Media on August 24, 2020.
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