Colorado and other States ask federal court to block changes at U.S. Postal Service that have impacted mail delivery
Sept. 10, 2020 (DENVER, Colo.)— Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and attorneys general from 13 other States are asking a federal judge in Washington State to block the U.S. Postal Service from implementing changes to the mail service that interfere with Americans’ daily lives and the November 2020 election.
In a brief filed with the court, the coalition of States alleges that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy violated federal law when he implemented radical changes at the Postal Service with very little notice, causing irreparable harm, including delays in delivery of time-sensitive materials from medications to legal notices to ballots. Factors leading to delay include the removal of sorting equipment from mail facilities, reduced staff overtime, and an earlier deadline for end-of-day mail processing.
Recently, the Postal Service also notified States that it will end its longstanding practice of processing ballots as first-class mail regardless of what type of postage is used. As a result, states and counties that use marketing or bulk-rate postage for their ballots could experience delays that may prevent some ballots from being counted.
Weiser said these changes at the Postal Service violate the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees to States the authority to regulate elections and to individuals the right to vote.
“Coloradans depend on the mail to conduct business, get prescription drugs, and to receive their ballots to vote in elections. This lawsuit we are bringing against the Postal Service is designed to protect the reliability of our mail service and our State’s power to manage elections,” said Weiser. “Today’s filing seeks to stop the Postmaster General from continuing with the illegal sweeping changes he has made that have interrupted the mail service. We are fighting for an enforceable court order that ensures that the harm that has already occurred is corrected and prevents the Postmaster General from playing games with the mail service in the future.”
To support the case, five Coloradans submitted statements about how the mail delivery disruptions have impacted their lives. The stories include a small gourmet chocolate businessowner who relies on the Postal Service to ship orders because of its value and service; an independent contractor who has been unable to pay certain bills and also had to pay overdraft fees to buy groceries because her client checks were delayed in the mail; and other individuals who rely on the mail for their prescription drugs.