COVID-Related Election Litigation Tracker

Case Details

This database consolidates and tracks litigation concerning the effect of the pandemic on election law. The purpose of this tool is to provide an interactive list of relevant cases that can be searched by issue, court, status, and jurisdiction.

Case Details


Richardson v. Trump


Richardson v. Trump, No. 1:20-cv-02262 (D.D.C.)

  Case Summary Plaintiffs are individuals in TX, PA, NY and WI who applied for absentee ballots but did not receive them in the mail. Therefore they were either unable to vote in primay elections or were forced to risk exposure to coronavirus to do so. The compliant spends a good deal of time discussing Trump's opposition to mail in voting and asserts that DeJoy was hired to destroy the possibility that USPS could handle mail in voting. Plaintiffs detail changes to USPS policies under DeJoy which lead to their claims and which they seek to enjoin. They seek an injunction requring USPS to 1) restore sorting machines 2) restore overtime pay (3) lift the USPS hiring freeze (4) allow late deliveries instead of letting mail go undelivered and (5) restore 23 employees to their jobs at USPS. The complaint asserts three causes of action. 1) violation of the 14th amendment by depriving plaintiffs of the right to vote and because of disparate treatment 2) a civil conspiracy by Trump and DeJoy to violate plaintiffs' constitutional right to vote and 3) a violation of the APA section 706 as USPS's actions are arbitrary and capricious.
Filed 08/18/2020
State District Columbia
Type of Court Federal
Circuit D.C. Circuit
Status Closed ()
Last Updated 11/06/2020
Issue Tag(s) Vote-by-Mail (US Postal Service)
Complaint(s) 08/18/2020: Complaint filed.
09/11/2020: Complaint, Amended Complaint. filed.
Dispositive Ruling(s) 10/08/2020: Order/Ruling, The court applied Anderson-Burdick, and found that the USPS policy changes, with respect to their impact on election mail, pose a significant burden on the right to vote. The court granted a portion of plaintiffs' requested relief, namely an injunction to: “restore overtime pay” and “make all late mail deliveries instead of letting mail be delayed or go undelivered.”
10/27/2020: Order/Ruling, The Court granted an emergency order enforcing a previously granted injunction against certain new USPS policies. Specifically, the Court ordered Defendents to distribute information to USPS personnel that had previously been instructed to reduce late or extra postal trips that they were now to use such trips to the maximum extent necessary to increase on-time mail delivery, particularly for Election mail.
11/02/2020: Order/Ruling, The Court ordered that USPS was to redistribute their "Extraordinary Measures Return Ballots Mail Processing Policy to all Division Directors and Plant Managers no later than 9pm on November 1st, and shall reiterate that they are doing so to expedite the delivery of election ballots at the instruction of a federal court. Plant Managers are required to certify by 10am on November 2nd and 3rd that they have complied with these requirements. USPS shall further take all reasonable measures to ensure that processing facilities are complying with this order.
11/03/2020: Order/Ruling, Given the timing of the election and the court's recognition that the postial service is complying with at least some of its previous order, Plaintiff's request for an immediate status conference is denied. Lack of compliance with the court order will be discussed at the status conference scheduled for November 4, 2020.
11/04/2020: Order/Ruling, The court orders Defendants to instruct postal officers to sweep their facilities twice on November 4, locate all ballots postmarked on or before election day, and deliver those ballots to local election offices before 5PM.
11/05/2020: Order/Ruling, The court directed the managers of USPS facilities for Greensboro, MidCarolinas, Central Pennsylvania, Western Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia Metropolitan districts to coordinate with county Boards of Elections to deliver all ballots by 5PM on November 6. Employees must sweep each facility at least twice on November 6, looking for inbound ballots to deliver. The court further required defendants to file with the court details of the arrangements adopted between the USPS facilities and the local boards of elections to ensure timely ballot delivery.
11/06/2020: Order/Ruling, The court releases defendants from some of their obligations under earlier orders. Defendants are no longer required to produce daily data on on-time deliveries, or on outbound ballots and non-ballot election mail, but are still required to produce daily data for inbound ballots. Further, USPS facility managers for Alaska, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, and West Virginia are required to make arrangements with local elections boards to deliver all ballots before the extended ballot receipt deadlines, including sweeping the facility twice each day to find ballots to deliver.
Creative Commons License  Covid-Related Election Litigation Tracker by the Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project – Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.