Colorado seeks to block USPS voting mailer it says is misleading

Katie Ramirez
September 13, 2020

Washingtonians do not need to request a mail or absentee ballot, despite a "plan ahead" postcard by the U.S. Postal Service suggesting voters do so, according to the state Secretary of State's Office.

The card tells voters to request an absentee ballot more than two weeks before the election and to make sure it is mailed at least a week in advance of election day.

"The main message of the mail-piece is that voters should plan ahead, educate themselves about voting options available in their jurisdiction, and, if they choose to vote by mail, to give themselves enough time to receive, complete and return their ballot", said David Partenheimer, a USPS spokesman.

Sacramento County officials are criticizing the use of this nationwide postcard by the U.S. Postal Service meant to inform Americans about voting by mail.

"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.

Washington voters urged to ignore absentee ballot suggestions from Postal Service postcard | Bellingham Herald

"These false statements will disenfranchise Colorado voters, including its uniform military and overseas voters; mislead them about Colorado's election procedures; infringe Colorado's Constitutional rights to conduct its elections; and interfere with the Secretary of State's ability to oversee Colorado elections", the complaint reads.

Attorney General Phil Weiser provided a screenshot of the postcard, urging the court to stop voters from receiving the "incorrect statement". But election practices vary from state to state, and several details on the postcards are wrong or misleading for Colorado voters, Griswold said. States decide their own recommended mail-by date, and Colorado recommends eight days before November 3. "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". "This attempt at voter suppression violates the United States Constitution and federal statutes and must be stopped immediately".

The postcard, which Griswold posted on social media, provides a checklist for preparing to vote by mail.

Last month amid political pressure, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy suspended all proposed changes to the Postal Service until the November election is over.

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