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In the black

Franked Mail pre-election bans to take effect

Franked Mail sample envelopes
Franked Mail has a member of Congress’s signature in the upper right corner of an envelope instead of a postage stamp.

The Postal Service wants employees to know about the “blackout” periods for Franked Mail mass mailings.

Franked Mail is official correspondence sent by members of Congress and other authorized users.

These mailpieces have the member’s facsimile signature — the frank — in the upper right corner of an envelope instead of a postage stamp. The frank includes “M.C.” (member of Congress) or “U.S.S.” (U.S. Senate).

U.S. House of Representative members are banned from sending Franked Mail mass mailings 90 days before a general election, while U.S. senators are banned from sending these mailings 60 days before a general election.

The blackout period for House members begins Thursday, Aug. 9. The blackout period for senators begins Friday, Sept. 7.

Mass mailings contain 500 pieces or more.

USPS is reminding employees that, except for situations involving mail security, Franked Mail must not be detained even if there may be indications of abuse of franked mailing privileges. Franked Mail must be promptly dispatched and delivered to the addressee. Employees should promptly report any instances of suspected abuse to the Pricing and Classification Service Center.

The Postal Bulletin’s July 19 edition has general information about Franked Mail, while the Postal Operations Manual has more specific information about the proper handling of Franked Mail.

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