Jimmy’s Colorado Politics Column | SOS’s postal lawsuit is ludicrous

Written by on September 14, 2020

Colorado’s partisan secretary of state, Jena Griswold, has gone postal on the Postal Service with her second lawsuit in a month.  This time, she’s challenging postcards USPS distributed to mailboxes nationwide that presented incomplete information for Colorado.  Her complaint asserts the mailers are an “attempt at voter suppression (that) violates the United States Constitution and federal statutes and must be stopped immediately.”

Unfortunately, Attorney General Phil Weiser joined Griswold in this ludicrous lawsuit in federal District Court.  Accordingly, the court issued an injunction on the postcards Saturday night.  However, it is too late anyway, as the postcards have already been mailed and received by most voters. 

The complaint centers on two lines in the mailer they claim are “false.” 

The USPS mailer encourages, “Request your mail-in ballot” — often called “absentee” ballot — “at least 15 days before Election Day.”  Griswold’s complaint accurately notes Colorado voters don’t have to request a ballot because we have universal mail balloting. Also, if a voter does not receive a ballot, they can vote in person or request a replacement ballot less than 15 days before the election. And we can drop off ballots at drop boxes and voting centers and they needn’t be mailed.

The postcard also states, “We recommend you mail your ballot at least 7 days before Election Day.”  Griswold’s suit claims this is “false” because voters don’t have to return ballots by mail but can drop them off in-person.

But this assertion is itself false.  At most, the mailer contains incomplete information regarding Colorado’s voting process, but in many ways, it’s still good advice.

First, Colorado ballots are set to drop Oct. 9 — 25 days before Election Day.  That renders Griswold’s supposed concerns largely moot.  Truthfully, if voters haven’t received their ballots by 15 days before Election Day, they probably should call their clerk.

Second, it’s true Coloradans don’t need to request a ballot — but is that technicality really something worth suing over?  If anything, it’s a good tip “just in case” your ballot isn’t received.  Moreover, contrary to the suit, the postcard makes no mention of “replacement ballots” nor suggests voters can’t request one closer to Election Day.

Third, USPS’s job is to provide Americans information and tips concerning — wait for it! — the mail.  That means, in this first year many states are experimenting with statewide vote-by-mail, they can and should provide voters with tips to ensure timely arrival of ballots.  While Colorado voters aren’t required to mail their ballots, it’s not Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s job to inform voters of all the options.  That’s Secretary of State Griswold’s responsibility.

USPS’s seven-day recommendation is wise if you are mailing your ballot.  Contrary to the perception Democrats are trying to shape nationwide, there are never any 100% guarantees for absolute on-time ballot delivery to voters or voting locations if you mail too close to Election Day.  This lawsuit amounts to a petty quibble that the postcard is incomplete and not an exhaustive guide on Colorado’s vote-by-mail. 

Amazingly, Griswold and Weiser are saying that, by USPS encouraging voters to contact local election officials or plan to give enough time to mail their ballots, they are engaging in “voter suppression.”  Only in the land of partisan politics is it “voter suppression” — which calls to mind American tragedies like racially-charged poll tests and poll taxes — to encourage voters’ due diligence.

Moreover, the complaint contends USPS is usurping Colorado’s authority to run elections and that the mailers violate “the constitutional right to vote.”  Somehow, an informational postcard is powerful enough to contravene Colorado’s authority and suppress your right to vote.

Finally, Griswold says USPS is violating the Tenth Amendment.  I’m just glad she realizes states’ rights exist.

Time and again, Jena Griswold — famous for having Planned Parenthood edit an official press release — has politicized her office.  She has made it a habit of blaming USPS for past failings by herself and other Democrat election officials. 

This latest political posturing masquerading as a lawsuit is an egregious waste of time and taxpayer dollars.  And it is merely a way for Colorado to contribute to a spurious national narrative in the event Democrats lose.  The narrative argues “voter suppression” by Donald Trump and his USPS lapdog DeJoy are to blame for vote-by-mail failures across the country.  Griswold (and Weiser) are simply helping lay its groundwork. 

Click here to read Jimmy’s September 14 column at Colorado Politics, a sister publication of The Washington Examiner.

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