USPS postcard could create election confusion

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A postcard with mail-in election advice from the US Postal Service began arriving in Washington mailboxes over the weekend.

“There’s already a lot of confusion, there’s also concern from our voters,” said King County Elections Director Julie Wise.

Wise says election officials around the country were not consulted, so the postcard doesn’t take into account that election rules differ by state.

That’s why Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold sued on Saturday to stop the distribution of the postcard in her state

"What these lawsuits are about is actually asking a judge to tell the postal service to not send this post card which contains misinformation on elections to Colorado voters.

She won a temporary injunction, but the post card had already arrived in Colorado and Washington mailboxes

Some of the advice, like “request your mail in ballot 15 days in advance” can be misleading.

“Does not apply to our voters here in Washington state. Everyone is already signed up to receive their ballot by absentee, by mail,” Wise said.

More advice from the postcard recommends mailing your ballot at least 7 days in advance to be sure it arrives by election day.

“That’s not the case in Washington state. The case in Washington state is that you simply need a postmark of election day or before for your ballot to count,” Wise noted

Wise says Washington voters need not be anxious. Ballots will go in the mail a month from today—Oct. 14 and should arrive in plenty of time to vote.

Voters who are unsure if they are registered or if their address on file is current can log on to to confirm their registration information.

For more information about election dates and deadlines, visit

The 2020 general election is Nov. 3.