Colorado joins multistate federal lawsuit challenging U.S. Postal Service cuts

By: - August 18, 2020 12:42 pm

A ballot drop off box outside the Denver Elections Division on W. 14th Ave. (Moe Clark/Colorado Newsline)

Colorado joined a multistate federal lawsuit on Tuesday challenging the recent operational changes at the U.S. Postal Service that could affect the national election in November.

The lawsuit, which will be filed in federal court in Washington state, includes a coalition of states including Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.  

“Coloradans depend on the U.S. Postal Service to conduct business, pay bills, order prescriptions, and to vote by mail. The sweeping changes that the Postmaster General implemented at the Postal Service are illegal and threaten to undermine our state’s independent authority to conduct elections,” Colorado Attorney General, Phil Weiser, said in a statement.

Postal Service cuts in Colorado included the removal of five delivery bar code sorters and at least one flat sequencing system from a major Denver distribution center, according to a press release from Weiser’s office. “Factors leading to delay include not only the increased load on the remaining sorters, but also new USPS policies like reduced staff overtime and an earlier deadline for end-of-day mail processing,” it stated in the press release. 

USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy also issued a statement on Tuesday in response to the national outcry over his delay-causing policy changes. “To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded,” Dejoy said.

DeJoy, as well as the Postal Service Board of Governors, is being investigated by U.S. House Democrats over the operational changes that have been implemented over the last few months. DeJoy is expected to testify before the U.S. Senate on Friday, according to a CNN report.

Members of the U.S. House will return to session on Saturday to vote on the “Delivering for America Act,” which would prohibit the Postal Service from implementing any changes to operations or level of service it had in place on Jan. 1, 2020, according to a letter from Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

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Moe Clark
Moe Clark

Moe Clark is a freelance journalist and former Colorado Newsline reporter who covered criminal justice, housing, homelessness and other social issues.