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Judge halts USPS changes that slowed mail delivery

The judge called the changed a "politically motivated attack" when issuing the ruling that will halt the changes.

DENVER — A U.S. judge on Thursday blocked Postal Service changes that have slowed mail nationwide. 

The judge called them “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election.

Judge Stanley Bastian in Yakima, Washington, said he was issuing a nationwide preliminary injunction as sought by 14 states, including Colorado that sued the Trump administration and the U.S. Postal Service.

RELATED: Colorado joins multi-state lawsuit over Postal Service delays in run up to general election

The states challenged the Postal Service’s so-called “leave mail behind” policy, by which trucks have been leaving postal facilities on time whether or not there is more mail to load. They also sought to force the Postal Service to treat election mail as First Class mail.

The Postal Service cuts — including the removal of five Delivery Bar Code Sorters and at least one Flat Sequencing System from a major Denver distribution center — threaten the timely delivery of mail to Coloradans who rely on the Postal Service for everything from medical prescriptions to ballots, according to an earlier statement from Weiser's office.

Other factors that could cause delay include not only the increased load on the remaining sorters, but also new policies such as reduced staff overtime and an earlier deadline for end-of-day mail processing.

Separately, Colorado Secretary of State Jenna Griswold is fighting the postal service over a postcard flyer being sent to voters.

RELATED: Judge grants temporary restraining order after Colorado secretary of state sues Postal Service over voting information

Over the weekend, a judge granted a temporary restraining order that will temporarily bar USPS from mailing additional cards to Colorado voters, though, in a court filing, the USPS estimated it had already delivered the mailing to 75% of Colorado addresses. 

Griswold alleges in the lawsuit  that mailers contain are "false statements that will confuse Colorado voters." According to the secretary of state's office and the attorney general's office, the postcard gives incorrect details about how voting works in Colorado.

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