USPS agrees to scrap confusing election mailers in Colorado
Posted September 18, 2020 5:34 p.m. EDT
CNN — The US Postal Service on Friday agreed to terminate its controversial election mailer in Colorado, according to Secretary of State Jena Griswold, who had sued Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and other USPS officials over the pre-election mailer that she said includes information that would mislead voters in the state.
The settlement directs USPS to destroy the remaining election mailers. The agreement concludes a week of legal disputes between Griswold and USPS over the sending of the mailers to Colorado voters containing what Griswold called "false statements."
The pre-election mailers, meant to inform Americans about voting by mail, advise voters to request a vote-by-mail ballot at least 15 days before Election Day and to return the official ballot at least seven days before. Those guidelines, however, don't align with Colorado election policies.
The state will conduct its general election by mail and will automatically send ballots to voters when they become available. The state also pointed to the part of the mailer that tells voters to send in their ballots seven days in advance, when Colorado voters have the option to return their ballots in person on Election Day.
"The terms of the settlement mandate that all reasonable effort be taken to remove all undelivered misleading mailers from the mail stream, and it requires collaboration between the Colorado Department of State and the USPS to make sure all future Postal Service communication includes correct information," said Griswold in a Friday statement.
USPS, as a part of the settlement filed in federal court in Denver, also agreed to give Griswold along with Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser the ability to review national media related to voting procedures and processes in advance of the 2020 election. Griswold and Weiser were also given the right to improve USPS's newly launched national voting website.
Colorado's top state officials will also be able to seek court review again if USPS sends election mailers with misinformation to their voters.
DeJoy first told lawmakers in late August that USPS had plans to "send a letter to every American" explaining "what our process is" for mail-in voting.
Elections are run by state and local governments, as outlined in the Constitution, and it's not common for the federal government to send election-related information to all Americans.
"We are pleased that through open dialogue and communication with the state of Colorado we have resolved this matter, and look forward to working with the state and others across the country as we prepare for the election," said USPS in an emailed statement to CNN.
This is another legal blow to the postal service following a ruling from a federal judge on Thursday who temporarily blocked USPS and DeJoy from changing a wide swath of USPS policies or protocols ahead of November's presidential election.