Official election mail (OEM) is any mailpiece created by an authorized voting registration official that is mailed to or from a citizen of the United States for the purpose of par­ticipating in the voting process. It includes:

Election mail does not include PCM.

Political campaign mail (PCM) is any piece mailed for political campaign purposes by a registered political candi­date, a campaign committee, or a committee of a political party to promote political candidates, referendums, or political campaigns.

Free Absentee Ballots are balloting materials, consisting of postcard applications, ballots, voting instructions, and envelopes that may be sent through the mail without pre­payment of postage. The absentee ballot provisions in Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) 703.8.0 for mailing with­out postage are for federal elections including special elec­tions of a federal nature. Free absentee balloting materials may only be sent to and from persons in the following categories when they are absent from the place of voting residence and otherwise eligible to vote as an absentee:

a. Members of the Armed Forces in active service and their spouses and dependents.

b. Members of the U.S. Merchant Marine and their spouses and dependents.

c. U.S. citizens residing outside the territorial limits of the United States and the District of Columbia and their spouses and dependents residing with or accompanying them.

To be mailable without prepayment of postage, the ballot­ing materials must be deposited at a U.S. Post Office, an overseas U.S. Military Post Office, or an American Embassy or American Consulate. Qualifying mailpieces must also be formatted to meet the following design requirements in DMM 703.8.2:


Balloting Material Formats Envelope: DMM 703 Exhibit 8.2.1

Balloting Materials Envelope Format

Note: Example shown with optional OEM logo.

Balloting Material FormatsPostcard: DMM 703 Exhibit 8.2.2
Postage Affixed Pieces

Balloting Material Postcard Format

Note: Example shown with optional OEM logo.

All ballots and balloting materials that are not eligible to be sent under the free postage provisions in DMM 703.8.0 are required to have postage affixed prior to mailing.