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Federal judge stops USPS election mailers temporarily in lawsuit over 'misinformation'

Federal judge stops USPS election mailers temporarily in lawsuit over 'false statements'
Posted at 9:29 AM, Sep 14, 2020

DENVER -- A federal judge has temporarily stopped the U.S. Postal Service from sending pre-election fliers with information about mail-in voting, after Colorado's Secretary of State filed a lawsuit claiming the fliers contain "misleading" and "incorrect" information for her state's voters. The USPS is appealing the decision Monday morning.

“The mailer incorrectly asks that voters request a mail ballot 15 days before the election and return their ballots by mail at least seven days before the election. In Colorado, every registered voter is sent a ballot without having to make a request and voters are urged to return ballots by mail sooner than seven days before the election,” Secretary of State Jena Griswold wrote in a statement releasedSaturday.

The lawsuit was filed late last week, and Saturday evening Griswold tweeted that a judge had granted Colorado a temporary restraining order, preventing the postal service from sending out the mailer to Colorado voters.

The restraining order will stay in place until September 22 unless changed by the court.

James Boxrud, a USPS spokesperson, said in a statementthat the postcard is part of a non-partisan campaign that the agency launched to educate the public on the upcoming election.

“The non-partisan campaign neither encourages nor discourages mail-in voting; rather, it is designed to reach and inform all voters about the importance of planning ahead if they plan to vote by mail,” Boxrud said in a statement.

Griswold claims USPS officials refused to delay or stop the campaign in Colorado since the information provided in the mailer does not apply in the state.

“As the Chief Election Official of the state of Colorado, 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. That is why I am filing a lawsuit against the USPS to cease this mailer and help shield Colorado voters from this misinformation,” Griswold said in a statement.

Griswold told CNN Sunday that she thinks the mailers are "suspect" based on President Donald Trump's ongoing false statements about the safety of mail-in voting.

"It very well could have started in a good place -- making sure that voters have confidence in using the mail for voting -- but I do think when we see the pattern of voter suppression coming out of the President in his use of the Post Office to try to suppress voters, I do think it's suspect," she said.

This story originally reported by Robert Garrison on