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Ongoing outreach

USPS offers guidance on Election Mail

USPS is providing election officials the tools needed to ensure a successful vote-by-mail operation.

The Postal Service is continuing ongoing outreach efforts to explain mailing requirements and services before the 2020 elections.

USPS General Counsel Thomas J. Marshall sent a letter last week to local and state election officials and state party officials across the nation that highlights key aspects of Election Mail delivery processes and explains the requirements.

“It is critical that the Postal Service’s delivery standards be kept in mind when informing voters how to successfully participate in an election using the mail, and when state and local election officials are making decisions as to the establishment of deadlines and the means used to send a piece of Election Mail to voters,” Marshall writes.

The letter is accompanied by Publication 632, State and Local Election Mail — User’s Guide, which is intended to provide boards of election and other election officials the tools needed to ensure a successful vote-by-mail operation.

Publication 632 includes an overview of how to properly use the mail during the election process; USPS mailing standards; postmarking guidelines; and military, diplomatic and overseas mailing instructions.

The letter also outlines ways in which officials can advise voters on what to expect when casting a ballot by mail.

Voters should be made aware of the mail delivery standards and transit times both when requesting an absentee ballot be mailed to them and when deciding when to mail the ballot back to election officials. USPS recommends voters mail their ballots at least one week before the due date and that they should contact local election officials for information about the specific deadlines.

These guides are a follow-up to the more extensive 2020 Official Election Mail Kit (Kit 600) distributed to 11,500 election officials in March. All of these materials are also available on the Election Mail section of

The Election Mail and Political Mail Blue page has additional information and resources for USPS employees.

Writes Marshall: “The Postal Service is proud of its role as an important component of the nation’s democratic process and it remains committed to providing the resources needed to implement a successful election season.”