Virginia Democrats sue USPS over delayed delivery of election-related material

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The corporation claims delays in election-associated mail throughout Albemarle County, which involves the metropolis of Charlottesville, James City County, which is adjacent to Williamsburg, and the area of Portsmouth near Norfolk, are “specially egregious,” in accordance to the lawsuit. Friday’s lawsuit was filed considerably less than two weeks right before the carefully watched governor’s race involving Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin. Democrats are hoping to keep on to the governor’s mansion and retain control of the state legislature, although Youngkin seeks to be Virginia’s to start with Republican to get a statewide election given that 2009.

“Thousands of ballots sent to postal facilities by the general registrars weeks in the past are nonetheless excellent and, months later on, have not yet even been scanned into USPS’s method. Even if these voters do ultimately acquire their ballots before Election Day, the slowdowns guarantee that they will not have ample time to deliver them again with assurance that they will arrive in time to be counted,” the lawsuit filed in US District Court states.

“And even if a ballot reaches the proper election official in advance of the receipt deadline, if the official identifies any issues with it that require remediation right before it could be counted, the voter will have operate out of time to rectify the challenge.”

Voters across Virginia had right up until 5 p.m, ET, Friday to ask for a mail-in ballot to be despatched to them to solid a vote in the November 2 election, according to the state’s Department of Elections.

The USPS on Saturday early morning confirmed receipt of CNN’s ask for for remark.

CNN has requested data from the Virginia Department of Elections as nicely as comment from the Republican Social gathering of Virginia.

USPS, less than Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s management, not too long ago executed new services expectations that involve lengthier initially-class mail shipping and delivery occasions and cuts to post office hrs. The modifications ended up part of DeJoy’s 10-year approach to assistance the embattled agency be far more aggressive and enhance its financial scenario.Virginia joined 20 other states in suing USPS very last yr, pushing back again on the agency’s changes that disrupted mail supply throughout the state and triggered accusations that former President Donald Trump and his appointees were being making an attempt to undermine mail-in voting.

In its lawsuit, the Virginia Democratic Bash mentioned the hundreds of unscanned ballots in the a few counties as of Tuesday make up a lot more than a quarter of all ballots voters requested, based mostly on Virginia Section of Elections info.

The lawsuit also explained that the normal share of unscanned ballots across the state was 10% — much more than 25,000 ballots issued to voters — as of Tuesday.

CNN has achieved out to the three counties’ election workplaces for remark.

James Town County’s director of elections, Dianna Moorman, verified to CNN in a statement that they are “mindful of the anomaly” and have been in contact with the Virginia Department of Elections and the USPS.

Moorman advised CNN that all the ballots the county has an application for have been issued, and that the county has obtained additional than 57% of the “USPS/electronic mail issued ballots” back again from voters to date.

In the final Virginia governor race in 2017, Albemarle County and Portsmouth went to Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, whilst his GOP opponent Ed Gillespie narrowly won James Town County.

The a few counties, which the Virginia Democratic Get together allege are encountering sizeable delays, all voted for President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, with a trim victory for Biden in James Metropolis County.