The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has settled a lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service alleging that the untimely delivery of mail-in ballots during the 2020 election suppressed the votes of racial minorities.

Under the terms of the settlement, filed Friday in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., the USPS will meet twice each election year with the NAACP before spring primaries and general elections in the fall. It will also provide weekly performance reports to the civil rights organization for the six weeks leading up to these elections and publish its plans to show how it will prioritize ballot delivery for elections until 2028.


"When we fight, we win,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson in a statement. “Ballot box or mailbox, a vote is a vote, and each vote is sacred. No one, including the USPS, should ever stand in the way of our constitutional rights. With the NAACP's ability to now monitor the performance of the USPS during national elections, we will ensure that the right to vote is protected for all citizens, including those often suppressed.”

The NAACP sued Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and his department in August 2020 after he introduced a restructuring plan he said would improve efficiency ahead of an election with an unprecedented amount of mail-in voting. The NAACP said that the plan caused delays and didn’t adhere to the legal procedure for changing mailing operations.

“The right to vote and ability to access the ballot is the cornerstone of our democracy,” said Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta. “The department is pleased we could facilitate a resolution that reflects the commitment of all of the parties to appropriately handling and prioritizing election mail.”


The COVID-19 pandemic prompted many states throughout the United States to adopt more widespread vote-by-mail alternatives ahead of the 2020 contest. While proponents of increasing access to voting celebrated the moves, opponents argued the new procedures left the election vulnerable to fraud.

The Trump campaign filed several lawsuits alleging widespread voter fraud, motivated in part by the rise of mail-in ballots. But the majority of the filings were tossed by federal courts, and experts assured the votes were secure.