A federal judge held Postmaster General Louis DeJoy responsible on Thursday for delayed mail delivery following changes he approved before the 2020 election.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan‘s ruling stated that DeJoy did not seek the required opinion of the Postal Regulatory Commission and that the changes he made negatively affected U.S. citizens’ ability to vote safely in the election.

DeJoy’s decision to restrict overtime payments for postal workers, decrease its number of mail sorting machines and end late and extra mail deliveries in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic cut down on costs but led to a backup of mail. Sullivan pointed to the extra trips as the largest contributor to delayed mail deliveries.

New York state and New York City, Hawaii, New Jersey and San Francisco all filed lawsuits against DeJoy and the Postal Service citing voter suppression.

Most of the changes DeJoy approved were reversed in the months after, and postal workers were told to prioritize election mail.

While Sullivan found fault with the Postal Service and DeJoy, he also noted that the actions taken did not violate laws governing federal elections.

“Though the implementation of the Postal Policy Changes contributed to the delay in mail deliveries nationwide, which in turn risked a delay in the delivery of mail-in ballots during an election season, USPS’s actions do not amount to voting regulations that override the States’ existing regulations,” Sullivan wrote.

The Postal Service maintained that interfering in the election was never an intended outcome of the changes made.

“Any suggestion that the Postal Service or anyone in Postal Service leadership, up to and including the postmaster general, at any point in time was not fully committed to supporting our democratic process is inconsistent with the facts and our performance,” the U.S. Postal Service said in a statement.

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