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Judge to call postmaster general to testify on ballot sweep refusal

Judge to call postmaster general to testify on ballot sweep refusal
A federal judge said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy will either have to be deposed or appear in court. File Photo by Tom Williams/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 4 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Washington, D.C., said Wednesday he planned to call Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to court to testify about why the U.S. Postal Service refused a court order to sweep mail processing facilities for undelivered ballots.

District Judge Emmet Sullivan accused the USPS of delaying responses to his orders, saying he was "shocked" at the agency's behavior.

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"At some point, the postmaster is either going to have to be deposed or appear before me and testify under oath," Sullivan said during a hearing Wednesday. "The court has been very clear that it expects full compliance."

Sullivan told Justice Department lawyers that he wanted Kevin Bray, the top USPS official overseeing election mail, to appear in court later Wednesday. Attorney Joseph Evan Borson said he'd have to check with Bray's schedule.

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"You will have to tell him when he's available," Sullivan said. "It's up to the court when he's available."

Appearing in court later in the day, Bray said the USPS would implement extraordinary measures to deliver remaining ballots in time to for them to be counted.

Sullivan on Monday ordered the USPS to implement some emergency election measures to ensure that ballots be delivered in time to be counted for Tuesday's presidential election. On Tuesday, the judge called on the agency to do a thorough sweep of 12 postal districts in 15 states to ensure that all ballots were delivered to elections officials as soon as possible.

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The USPS said it would not comply with the order, saying that the daily review process was already scheduled to occur between 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. that day and that a sweep would delay that process.

Delays in mail delivery leading up to the election had been a concern since DeJoy imposed changes, many of which have been reversed.

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