The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) has created a webpage to provide accurate summaries and updated information for its case against the United States Postal Service (USPS). Since Nov. 4, 2020, LDF has focused on ensuring delivery of ballots in two states: North Carolina, which has a deadline of 5 p.m. today for ballots postmarked by Election Day, and Pennsylvania. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia has required twice-daily sweeps for ballots in mail processing facilities in those states, and mandated that follow-up reports are filed in court documenting the results of these sweeps.
On Aug. 20, 2020, LDF and Public Citizen filed suit on behalf of the NAACP – a separate organization from LDF – to reverse USPS policy changes that led to widespread mail delays, and to ensure that ballots would be delivered in a timely manner. Ensuring the timely delivery of election mail is especially critical during a global pandemic that has disproportionately affected Black and Brown communities, as voters should never have to choose between having their voices heard and safeguarding their health.
Last month, the court granted a preliminary injunction in LDF’s favor, and it and other courts entered similar injunctions in several other cases, including those filed by states. The USPS did not immediately comply, however, and substantial mail delays have persisted. As a result, LDF filed a motion to enforce the court’s prior injunction in late October. This has led to enforcement proceedings where the court has entered a number of orders requiring USPS to implement measures to ensure that ballots are delivered in a timely manner, and to provide the court with data about the status of its efforts.
“Elections do not end until every ballot is counted,” said Sam Spital, LDF’s Director of Litigation. “In the midst of a global pandemic that has disproportionately impacted the Black community, tens of millions of voters chose to cast their ballots by mail in an effort to remain healthy and safe. The USPS made service changes that resulted in the slowing of mail delivery, which has impacted Americans’ ability to receive critical medication and engage in one of the most fundamental components of our democracy: voting. LDF will continue to press for the rights of voters to have their voices heard in this and every election.”
Since November 4, we have focused on delivery of ballots in states that have upcoming deadlines for receiving ballots postmarked by Election Day, such as North Carolina and Pennsylvania. The court has required twice daily sweeps for ballots in mail processing facilities in those states, with reports to be filed in the court documenting the results.
Visit the webpage here.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.