The US Postal Service agreed Wednesday to reverse changes that slowed mail service nationwide, settling a lawsuit filed by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock. The lawsuit filed against Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the USPS on Sept. 9 argued changes implemented in June harmed access to mail services in Montana, resulting in delayed delivery of medical prescriptions, payments, and job applications, and impeding the ability of Montana residents to vote by mail, per the AP. The postal service agreed to reverse all changes, which included reduced retail hours, removal of collection boxes and mail sorting machines, closure or consolidation of mail processing facilities, restriction of late or extra trips for timely mail delivery, and banning or restricting overtime.
The settlement agreement, which applies to all states, comes after a federal judge temporarily blocked the controversial USPS changes on Sept. 17. The agreement also requires the USPS to prioritize election mail. The majority of Montana counties are holding elections by mail after a directive by Bullock, who's running for a seat in the US Senate, permitted them to do so to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Following a national uproar last month, DeJoy announced he was suspending some of the changes, including the removal of mail collection boxes, but other changes remained in place. "Montanans never gave up this fight and as a result, we are ensuring stability through and beyond the election by immediately restoring the mail services folks rely on," Bullock said in a statement.
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