State of Virginia

Virginia U.S. Postal Service Challenge

Democratic Party of Virginia v. Veal

Lawsuit filed on behalf of the Democratic Party of Virginia against the U.S. Postal Service over its failure to process and deliver election-related mail in a timely manner, potentially leading to the disenfranchisement of Virginians seeking to cast absentee ballots for the statewide election on Nov. 2. The complaint argues that the Postal Service’s failure to delivery absentee ballot applications and ballots in a timely manner will significantly burden and potentially disenfranchise thousands of Virginia voters in violation of the First and 14th Amendments. The lawsuit asks the court to order the Postal Service to prioritize and expedite the processing of election-related mail and to immediately process any unscanned election materials in Albemarle, Portsmouth and James City Counties, where delays are of particular concern. The plaintiffs filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in line with these requests, after which the parties agreed to certain terms to ensure the timely delivery of election mail. Specifically, the Postal Service will: 1) ensure that completed absentee ballots being returned to county elections officials are properly postmarked and scanned; 2) expedite the delivery of completed absentee ballots; and 3) conduct an “All Clear Certification Process” daily through next Friday. Nov. 5 where employees sweep all locations and certify that facilities are “clear of all Election Mail committed for delivery that day.” The Postal Service will provide daily reports to the DPVA about the “All Clear” process from the previous day, as well as estimates of travel times for completed absentee ballots. Following the election, the parties entered a stipulation of dismissal.

Case Documents

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