Colorado to file lawsuit against USPS over pre-election mailer

Pablo Tucker
September 13, 2020

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold on Saturday filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) alleging that the agency sent postcards to every voter containing false information about the state's mail-in voting process and policies.

Wyman said her office - which oversees elections - and the county offices that administer elections were not made aware that the postcard would be sent to Washington voters.

"The mailer incorrectly asks that voters request a mail ballot 15 days before the election and return their ballots by mail at least seven days before the election".

In a statement Friday evening, the office said that state voters may soon get a postcard from the postal service that includes a recommendation voters ask for a ballot at least 15 days before the November 3 election. Meanwhile, ballot-return envelopes have pre-paid postage in Washington, but the mailers also tell voters to add stamps to their return envelopes if needed.

Concerns have been raised about the increasing use of voting by mail amid the coronavirus pandemic - and whether the Post Office will be able to deliver ballots on time for the crucial November election, The Hill reported. "It can undermine confidence in the election & suppress votes".

Attorney General Phil Weiser provided a screenshot of the postcard, urging the court to stop voters from receiving the "incorrect statement".

"As the Chief Election Official of the state of Colorado, it's my job to try to stop misinformation and any unnecessary election confusion".

"Even though it may have started off as well-intentioned by the USPS to send out this mailer, we alerted them that this was false information and we asked them to just not send it in Colorado and they refused", Griswold said in a phone call. Ballots are mailed out 18 days prior to election day.

She contended that a failure to listen to local experts combined with the recent postal delays in some parts of the country is "beyond suspect". "The non-partisan campaign neither encourages nor discourages mail-in voting; rather, it is created to reach and inform all voters about the importance of planning ahead if they plan to vote by mail".

Several states, including Colorado, have sued the USPS over the changes, leading DeJoy to say he was suspending changes until after the election.

Augino said she learned about the postcards Thursday from her counterpart in OR, another vote-by-mail state, and confirmed that residents in southwest Washington had begun to receive them on Friday. A USPS spokesman did not immediately respond to questions from The Spokesman-Review late Friday. Augino said she believed the mailings, which she confirmed were sent to addresses nationwide, came from USPS headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Pierce County residents can expect a postcard from the U.S. Postal Service this weekend that might be confusing.

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