DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold says she is seeking legal action against the United State Postal Service. This follows the USPS sending misinformation regarding mail-in ballots to millions of voters.
Griswold said on social media Friday night the postal service sent postcards to every household telling voters to request a ballot.
I just found out the @USPS is sending this postcard to every household and PO Box in the nation. For states like Colorado where we send ballots to all voters, the information is not just confusing, it’s WRONG. (Thread) pic.twitter.com/RoTTeJRJVl
— Jena Griswold (@JenaGriswold) September 12, 2020
She says the information is confusing and wrong. In Colorado, a ballot is mailed out to every registered voter.
“This may have started off as a well-intentioned effort by the USPS, but their refusal to listen to election experts combined with the recent postal slowdown in some parts of the country is beyond suspect,” she said on social media. “Confusing voters about mail ballots in the middle of a pandemic is unacceptable. It can undermine confidence in the election & suppress votes. I will do everything in my power to stop the USPS from sending misinformation to voters.”
Griswold adds she asked the USPS to not send the mailer to Coloradans. Prior to the lawsuit, she filed a motion for a temporary restraining order to stop the postal service from sending the postcards.
“It’s my job to try to stop misinformation and any unnecessary election confusion. The importance of this election, combined with the fact it is being held amidst a national pandemic, further heightens the need to provide correct voting information to Coloradans.”
The spokesman for the USPS in Denver released this statement to CBS4:
Our mail-piece provides general, all-purpose guidance on the use of the mail, and not guidance on state election rules. The mail-piece – which has already been delivered to most households and will reach every American residential mailing and P.O. Box address in the coming week – contains a single set of simple recommendations for voters throughout the nation, regardless of where they live and where they vote. At the same time, we are aware that each state has its own specific rules, deadlines and requirements, and the mail-piece acknowledges that fact.
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. We specifically encourage voters to visit their local election board website and provide a link for this purpose (usps.com/votinginfo).
The Postal Service recognizes that not every state requires a voter to request a ballot in order to obtain one by mail for the November election. The Postal Service’s guidance remains that individuals need to understand their state’s rules and deadlines, and to plan ahead.
The USPS released a follow up statement on Sunday: The intention of the mailer was to send a single set of recommendations that provided general guidance allowing voters who choose mail-in voting to do so successfully, regardless of where they live and where they vote. Each state has its own approaches, rules, and deadlines and we provide the following link for voters to determine their local relevant information: usps.com/votinginfo. Our mailer was intended to be general all-purpose guidance on the use of the mail, and not guidance on state rules.