DENVER (UPI) — Colorado’s secretary of state filed a federal lawsuit against the United States Postal Service over mailers that contain inaccurate information about mail-in voting.
Jena Griswold said her office learned Thursday that the postal service would send mailers to every household in the United States with information about mail-in voting.
The mailers 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 the election.
Those instructions don’t account for the variation in state rules: Colorado, for example, does not require individuals to request mail-in ballots because every registered voter automatically receives one.
“This attempt at voter suppression violates the United States Constitution and federal statutes and must be stopped immediately,” Griswold and state Attorney General Phil Weiser alleged in the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Denver.
According to Griswold, secretaries of state in five other states contacted her office to request copies so they could explore the possibility of filing their own suits.
The secretary of state in Washington state, which also runs elections exclusively by mail, also criticized the mailer on Twitter.
“WA voters DO NOT need to request an absentee ballot,” the message read. “Ballots are automatically mailed to all active registered voters at least 18 days prior to Election Day.”
“We are aware that each state has its own specific rules, deadlines and requirements, and the mail-piece acknowledges that fact,” USPS spokesman David A. Partenheimer said. He added, “The Postal Service’s guidance remains that individuals need to understand their state’s rules and deadlines, and to plan ahead.”
The lawsuit comes amid scrutiny of newly appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, as well as President Donald Trump’s steady drumbeat of criticism of mail-in voting and attempts to block the practice, which many states already do as a matter of course and others are looking to expand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reporting by Christen McCurdy
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