Former U.S. President Barack Obama has slammed President Trump and Republicans over the denial of funds to the U.S. Postal Service, to allow seamless mailed voting.
Obama said Trump is trying to “kneecap” the post office to boost his re-election chances.
“It’s “unique” to see a president actively discouraging people from voting, Obama added.
“What we’ve never seen before is a president say, ‘I’m going to try to actively kneecap the postal service to encourage voting and I will be explicit about the reason I’m doing it,’” Mr. Obama said. “That’s sort of unheard of.”
Mr. Obama was speaking to his former campaign adviser David Plouffe in an episode of Mr. Plouffe’s “Campaign HQ” podcast released Friday.
The former president said if people have the option to vote early, they should do so as soon as they can, adding that the postal service is a vital government service through which many taxpayers receive their Social Security checks or veterans and disability benefits.
“What are Republicans doing where you are so scared of people voting that you are now willing to undermine what is part of [the] basic infrastructure of American life?” he said.
“It’d be the equivalent of, we’re not going to repair highways because people might drive to the polling places.”
U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy last week announced a major organisational overhaul to the postal service.
Democrats have raised questions about new reports of delayed or undelivered mail given the expansion of vote-by-mail efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.