Cover Story

Be Prepared — Election and Political Mail on the Rise

Many states nationwide have adopted policies such as “No Excuse Absentee Voting” and “Vote-by-Mail.” These alternatives to voting at a polling station on Election Day provide the Postal Service™ with an opportunity to increase First-Class Mail® volume and revenue, and enhance the value of mail.

Leading up to the mid-term election on November 4, 2014, Vote-by-Mail ballots and other mail prepared by election officials will be entering the mailstream. Concurrently, there will be Political Campaign Mail promoting candidates, referendums, and issues. During this time, Postal Service employees need to watch for this important time-sensitive mail and do their part to ensure each mailing receives the highest level of service.

To attract this new volume and retain it, employees must be ready to provide reliable service for this very important and time-sensitive mail.

Here’s what postal employees need to do:

n Be alert for the green Tag 191, Domestic and International Mail-In Ballots, which identifies ballot mail only.

n Be alert for the Official Election Mail logo, which is used to identify individual pieces of official election mail. The logo may be printed in black, blue, or red ink.

n Promptly handle all ballot and official election mailings. Refer to the standard operating procedures.

The beginning of this article explains what is new for the 2014 election cycle to include:

n Revised mailing standards for balloting material postage.

n A new USPS-enabled Election Mail checkbox in PostalOne! and on Postage Statements 3602-R, 3602-N, 3600-PM, and 3600-FCM.

n USPS-enabled cancellation of all mail processed on USPS Letter Automation Compatible Postage Cancellation Systems.

The remainder of this article provides important requirements and tips about how to handle Official Election Mail and Political Campaign Mail. Postal Service employees can also find additional details about their role in Election 2014 online at This site is the single source for information about the Postal Service’s election-related responsibilities and what postal employees need to know about proper handling of both Official Election Mail and Political Campaign Mail.