"Substantial evidence has been presented that these transformative changes have been done by the Postal Service which has made mail delivery slower and less efficient", Mr Bastian said, according to CNN. "Americans can now confidently vote by mail and have their voices heard", Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who is leading the multi-state lawsuit, said Thursday.
According to the settlement filed with the federal court in Denver, the Postal Service agreed to have the attorney general and secretary of state preview national media materials related to elections, and gave Colorado the right to temporarily block the release of any material that will confuse the state's voters and, if necessary, seek court review.
Postal Service spokesman Dave Partenheimer said in a statement that "there should be no doubt that the Postal Service is ready and committed to handle whatever volume of election mail it receives".
Besides Washington, states joining the lawsuit include Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.
An attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice representing the Trump administration admitted some of those delays, but said the situation has improved since the changes began.
Bastian said the defendants took the "remarkable" position that nothing had changed in the approach to election mail. The judge also ordered that election mail must be given first-class mail attention and treatment and that any decision to reconnect mail sorting machines must be communicated with the court within three days - whether in the past, current, or in the future. "Our number one priority is to deliver election mail on-time".
Thursday's injunction will now require the USPS to halt its recently-enacted "leave behind" policy, to treat all election mail as first class mail rather than as slower-moving categories, to reinstall any mail processing machines needed to ensure the prompt handling of election mail, and to inform its employees about the requirements of the injunction.
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This national slowdown of mail is concerning because of two things: the coronavirus pandemic and the November election.
Abide by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's public commitment to suspend the recent policy changes that have affected mail service until after the election. "The states are accusing us of making changes we have not in fact made".
He also said that the states were required to bring the matter to the Postal Regulatory Commission, not the courts.
Voters who are anxious about their ballots being counted "can simply promptly drop their ballots in the mail", he said, and states can help by mailing registration form or absentee ballots early.
For instance, it mentioned the need for voters to request absentee ballots, even though several states, including Colorado, proactively send out mail ballots to their voters.
United States attorneys repeatedly argued that there had not been substantial changes at USPS.
"I just found out the @USPS is sending this postcard to every household and PO Box in the nation", tweeted Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat, on Friday, with a picture of the card.