Secretary of State Katie Hobbs wants Attorney General Mark Brnovich to look into whether recent changes at the U.S. Postal Services threaten to delay the delivery of mail-in ballots.

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs wants to know if “President Trump, and others at his direction, has conspired to violate” an Arizona law that makes it illegal to “knowingly delay the delivery of a ballot.” Hobbs emailed Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich Friday to ask the Election Integrity Unit to look into it.

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs

Hobbs tweeted about her request Friday morning, saying she wants to know "whether or not the Trump administration has committed a crime."

According to her letter, her concerns stem from “recent changes at the United States Postal Service (USPS)” that she described as “deeply troubling.”

🔗 Arizona political news

She cited four changes she finds potentially problematic:

  • Elimination of overtime
  • Not allowing letter carriers to make extra trips to ensure mail is delivered on time
  • Hiring freezes
  • Removal of mail sorting machines
Postal Service removes some mail-sorting machines, sparking concerns ahead of election

“The effect of these changes, taken individually or together, is an extended transit period for mail,” Hobbs wrote. “The timing of such changes – just months before a major election in which a record number of people are expected to rely on USPS when exercising their fundamental right to vote – would be conspicuous on its own.”

Referring to President Donald Trump’s much-publicized criticism of mail-in voting, she said, “it’s clear that something more may be afoot here.”

The president has been outspoken about his belief that mail-in voting is rife with potential security issues, going so far as to tweet that voting by mail would result in “the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history.”

Pres. Donald Trump says mail-in ballots will lead to election fraud

At the same time, the president and his wife have requested absentee ballots – by mail – so they can vote in their home state of Florida. According to the White House, absentee voting is different than mail-in voting. White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere told CNN that "the President supports absentee voting, not universal mail-in voting, which contain several safeguards that prevent fraud and abuse."

Trump and first lady request mail-in ballots despite attacks

“President Trump’s most recent comment, on August 13th, leaves any reasonable person with the inescapable conclusion that recent directives at the USPS are part of a larger, coordinated scheme to interfere with Americans’, including Arizonans’, ability to vote safely by mail.

Brnovich released the following statement to Arizona's Family: “We review every complaint, regardless of merit. Confidence in elections is the cornerstone of our democracy. I will continue to protect the integrity of our elections, even when other state officials won’t.”

As adamant as the president has seemed to be in his certainty that mail-in voting is an invitation to election fraud, Hobbs has been equally direct in her assertion that voting by mail is secure. Her message has been consistent.

“Arizona has a long track record of successful and secure and accurate vote by mail,” she said Arizona's Family in June. “It is probably the safest way to vote in this upcoming election, given the pandemic that we’re in. Voters can rest assured that there is security with vote by mail. It’s as secure as in-person voting and there are a lot of systems and processes in place that ensure the safety and security of ballots cast by mail.”

MORE STORY ABOUT MAIL-IN BALLOTS AND NOVEMBER ELECTION

Postal Service removes some mail-sorting machines, sparking concerns ahead of election
Postal Service removes some mail-sorting machines, sparking concerns ahead of election
Maricopa County recorder claps back at president's idea of delaying November election
Arizona elections chief seeks move toward all-mail elections

CNN contributed to this article.

 

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