As with all mail, postage for OEM — including vote-by-mail ballots — is required to be paid before mailing. The following postage options are available for use on OEM:
* The free absentee balloting materials format may only be used for federal elections and when sent to authorized persons as permitted in DMM 703.8.0.
From now until the election in November, Post Offices can expect to see absentee balloting materials in the mail. Since most absentee balloting materials require postage, it is conceivable that some of these mailpieces will be shortpaid, and some will contain no postage at all. It is critical that this mail is handled correctly to avoid any negative impact on election results or the Postal Service.
Employees need to be aware that absentee balloting materials are handled differently than other unpaid or shortpaid mailpieces. ABSENTEE BALLOTING MATERIALS ARE NOT TO BE RETURNED FOR ADDITIONAL POSTAGE OR DETAINED! The postage is collected from the election office. Any delay of absentee ballots is a violation of Postal Service policy.
All employees must adhere to Postal Service policy as follows:
Employees with questions or concerns about handling absentee balloting material should contact their supervisor or district political mail coordinator.
From now until the election in November, postmasters and station managers can expect to receive inquiries concerning the use of Postal Service lobbies and grounds for election-related activities. It is critical that all employees communicate the same message to prevent any negative impact on the Postal Service.
Do NOT allow the following items to be placed or collected in a Post Office lobby:
- Ballot boxes/receptacles.
- Applications for absentee ballots (Vote by Mail).
- Partisan materials. The depositing, posting, or display of any materials that could be considered part of a political campaign, including any materials featuring photographs of elected officials or party symbols, is prohibited. This restriction also applies to the community bulletin board. (See Retail Standardization guidelines currently in effect at http://blue.usps.gov/retail/standardization.htm.)
- Freestanding signs or other structures. Except as part of postal activities, no tables, chairs, freestanding signs, posters, structures, or furniture of any type may be placed on postal property. Refer any questions about this prohibition to the Law Department Field Office in your area.
Do NOT allow the following activities to take place in a Post Office lobby, on postal sidewalks, or other exterior postal property:
- Campaigning for election to public office. Any activity conducted in support of a campaign for election of an individual to any public office is prohibited on Postal Service property. This prohibition includes depositing, posting, displaying, or distributing campaign literature; asking for or collecting signatures to put a candidate on an election ballot; or asking for or collecting contributions for a partisan organization or cause. Refer any questions about these prohibited activities to the Law Department Field Office in your area.
These items or activities may be allowed in a Post Office lobby with the following limitations:
Postmasters and station managers may be contacted by election officials asking for help with their mailings. Refer election officials to the Election Officials’ Mailing Resources site at www.usps.com/electionmail, which has everything they need for mailing in one convenient place. As always, the local MDA and district BMEU personnel are available to help with inquiries concerning election mail. For assistance with PCM, contact the district marketing manager.