USPS logo LINK — USPS employee news Printable

Civics lesson

Voting by mail increases turnout, research shows

postal worker holds envelope
Monty Trabue, a mail handler at the Louisville, KY, Processing and Distribution Center, checks a tub for Election Mail in 2016.

Allowing people to vote by mail boosts turnout, especially during lower-profile elections, the authors of a new study say.

The research is based on data from a 2014 midterm election in Colorado, one of three states that conduct all voting by mail. According to the study, allowing people in Colorado to vote at home increased overall turnout by 3.3 percent that year — and by even more among young and low-propensity voters.

“Anyone who cares about improving turnout should make vote at home a top priority,” Gilad Edelman and Paul Glastris, two journalists who commissioned the study, wrote in a recent Washington Post opinion piece.

In addition to convenience, voting by mail is also secure, Edelman and Glastris write.

“Because it relies on old-fashioned pen and paper, it can’t be hacked. While ballots are counted by machine, those machines don’t need to be connected to the internet, and a paper trail is there for a recount,” they write.

Like Colorado, Oregon and Washington also conduct all voting by mail.

The Postal Service works with election officials across the nation — including secretaries of state, state election directors and county leaders, as well as national organizations — to prepare for elections.

USPS also educates employees on procedures to accept, process and deliver Election Mail and Political Mail.

Post-story highlights