Colorado Department of State UPU Withdrawal - Central Region Meeting August 7, 2019
U.S. Withdrawal from the UPU The Universal Postal Union (UPU) was formed in 1874 by countries agreeing to process and deliver mail regardless of origin. Virtually every country is a UPU member, including 192 of 195 United Nations countries. The three non-UPU countries are: 1. Western Sahara 2. Taiwan 3. Andorra
U.S. Withdrawal from the UPU Country #4 on this list may soon be the United States. On October 17, 2018, President Trump gave one-year’s notice that the U.S. would pull out of the UPU. The UPU has scheduled a meeting September 23-24 in which the U.S. will officially pull out (or other). The 2019 UOCAVA mailing deadline is September 21st.
U.S. Withdrawal from the UPU In June, the White House, U.S. Department of State, the USPS, the Military Postal Service (MPSA), and the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) began weekly meetings to discuss the potential effect on UOCAVA voters should the U.S. leave the UPU. In anticipation of leaving, the United States is working with friendly countries to craft bilateral agreements. However, these agreements will take time and there may be resulting confusion. The Feds have made no announcements about side agreements.
U.S. Withdrawal from the UPU It’s possible that UOCAVA voters from Russia, China, Iran, Palestine, and others will not receive their paper ballots. So, Colorado counties need to prepare differently for UOCAVA voters this election. • CDOS will create a sample communication • This communication should alert UOCAVA voters to the UPU issue, and encourage those in remote/hostile areas to sign up for remote ballot delivery • This communication should also request updated contact information from all voters, especially those without email addresses • If necessary, reach out directly (phone calls, etc.) to get email addresses
U.S. Withdrawal from the UPU Things CDOS is doing: • Create a sample communication materials for the counties • Finalize contract with Democracy Live • Provide lists of UOCAVA voters with and without (738) email addresses • Confirm/test new system can handle in excess of 28,000 voters • Updating and testing Secure Ballot Return (SBR) • Optimize access for voters in China, Russia, and other difficult countries • Coordinate with national UOCAVA agencies/advocacy organizations
U.S. Withdrawal from the UPU We don’t expect to know much until the UPU Extraordinary Congress meeting September 23-24 – a couple of days after the UOCAVA deadline. Representatives from the USPS, US Department of State, and FVAP at NASED’s summer meeting stated that it’s better than 50/50 we will leave the UPU.