The Trump administration has supported plenty of moves to make it harder to vote. But an under-the-radar action President Trump took last year, as part of his trade war with China, may be a case of him just stumbling into that outcome, election experts fear.
Trump is threatening to withdraw from the international body that oversees global mail delivery, putting at risk the stability and reliability of the current system of sending and receiving mail internationally.
Any disruption to the international postal service, voter advocates say, could make an already difficult process of casting ballots for Americans abroad even more complicated. Among those who stand to be affected are members of the military overseas, whose ability to vote while serving their country has always been a politically sensitive issue.
The White House told TPM it’s working “diligently” to make sure that if the United States exits the 145-year-old international postal alliance, the withdrawal would be “seamless.” But the administration wouldn’t provide details about its planning, particularly as it pertains to elections, or about who exactly has been working on it. The lack of clarity is prompting anxiety in the election policy world. If the United States leaves the global mail delivery organization, it will happen just a few months before the 2020 primaries begin.
“I’ve had sleepless nights worrying what will happen for voters that won’t have the ability to return a ballot,” said Tammy Patrick, a senior advisor at the Democracy Fund who works with elections officials on voting administration issues.