Be Prepared — Vote-by-Mail is on the Rise

To increase voter turnout and make it more convenient for citizens to participate in elections, many states nationwide have adopted policies such as “No Excuse Absentee Voting” and “Vote-by-Mail.” These alternatives to the traditional obligation of going to 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 general election on November 8, 2016, 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 should watch for this important time-sensitive mail and do their part to ensure each mailing receives the highest level of service.

Concerns have been raised regarding how the change in delivery standards could require additional time for Election Mail, Political Campaign Mail, and ballots to reach voters. The Postal Service takes these concerns very seriously and plans are in place from coast to coast to ensure the timely receipt, processing, and delivery of election and political mail.

Generally, citizens use one of three methods to cast their votes — a traditional polling place via electronic or paper ballot, an absentee paper ballot, or early in-person voting. Although traditional poll voting is still the most popular method, voting by mail is increasing across broad segments of the American electorate. For example, in the 2014 midterm federal election, 25 percent of voters cast ballots by mail — an increase of 3.5 percent over the 2012 presidential election.