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Democratic process

Election, political mail a top priority for USPS

Political mail
Employees such as David Yu, a San Jose mail processing clerk, play a critical role in handling Election Mail, USPS leaders say.

The Postal Service expects to handle more Election Mail this year than it did during the 2012 presidential race, when more than 25 million return ballots were processed.

Election Mail refers to ballot mail addressed for domestic or international delivery. Ballot mail has become more common now that three states — Colorado, Oregon and Washington — hold all elections entirely by mail.

“Postal Service employees play a critical role in ensuring that Election Mail is delivered timely and that every vote by mail gets counted,” said Processing Operations Manager Isaac Cronkhite.

USPS is reminding employees that Election Mail is tagged and processed differently than Political Mail, which describes mailings by registered candidates and organizations that engage in issue advocacy or voter mobilization.

The Postal Service is also conducting state-by-state outreach to ensure election boards, campaigns and mailers are aware of the deadlines for both Election Mail and Political Mail.

“We encourage voters to request and return ballots early and to familiarize themselves with local voting regulations and Postal Service collection times,” Cronkhite said.

The Election Mail and Political Mail site on Blue has more information.

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