NOW

ELECTION MAIL 2020

Vote By Mail Resource Center

In 1996 MAIL Magazine featured Al Davidson, Marion County Clerk, State of Oregon (pictured left) who developed the county’s unique Vote-By-Mail system. For the prior 15 years Oregon had been experimenting with Vote-By-Mail, and in 1995 held its first federal election via the mail. This groundbreaking work has led to many states and localities embracing Vote-By-Mail as a way for increasing citizen turnout, preventing hacking, and securing the ballot. The Vote-By-Mail Resource Center aims to help American jurisdictions manage balloting operations.

UPDATES

Review the following content and check back for regular updates.

To sign up for Vote-By-Mail updates, register here.

Vote-By-Mail Technology

Melissa Suite Improves Voter Rolls
Vote by Mail: A Special Flavor of Inbound Mail Processing
Tritek Vote-By-Mail System
EZ-Letter Sorters For Vote, Rejects, Outgoing Mail, And Mail Opening
VOTE 2020: Automating Vote-By-Mail To Improve Integrity, Security, Turnout

Vote-By-Mail Articles

Vote-By-Mail Means No More Hacking Elections
More States Choose Paper-Based Voting Systems for 2020
Political Mail Revenue Grows
Hawaii To Conduct All Elections By Mail
OIG Says Post Ready For 2018 Election Mail

USPS Vote-By-Mail Resources

USPS OFFICIAL ELECTION MAIL KIT
USPS ELECTION MAIL FAQs
USPS Election Mail Coordinators Contact List

State & Local Election Mail User Guide
Election Mail Graphic Guidelines
Guidelines for Ballot Envelopes (DMM)
USPS Interactive Election Mail Service Map

Vote-By-Mail Vendors

Bowe Systec (Sorters)
Engineering Innovation (Sorters)
Fluence Automation (Sorters)
MAI – Mail Automation Inc (Tray Rack Systems)
Melissa (Address Standardization/Database)
NPI (Sorters)
Tritek Technologies (Sorters & Processors)

Vote-By-Mail Issues & Concerns

PA Vote By Mail Problems
California Voters Ballots Not Delivered By USPS
Ohio Voters Confused By Ballot Postage
Mail-In Ballot Screw-Up In NJ Means Votes Won’t Be Counted

USPS GUIDELINES

Designing Election Mail: Ballot Envelopes and Postcards

Mailpiece design begins with the envelope, both the outgoing and reply envelope. The envelope used to send balloting material and the envelope or postcard enclosed for return mail need identification markings as required by state laws and the US Postal Service™. Leave the back of the envelope blank. Mail processing machines can misread and reroute envelopes with printing on both sides.

Click for USPS 2020 Official Election Mail Kit

Weight — Design return mailpieces and envelopes to weigh 1 oz or less, so voters can return ballots with one First-Class Mail® stamp. Printing on both sides of your ballot literature is one way to reduce weight and cost.

Dimensions — Election mailpieces sizes should fit the USPS definition of a letter. The length of the mailpiece divided by its height must equal a ratio of 1.3 to 2.5.
— Maximum thickness is 1/4″.
— Minimum size is 5″ long x 3 1/2″ high.
— Maximum size is 11 1/2″ long x 6 1/8″ high.
— Maximum weight is 3.5 oz.

official-election-mail-logo-red

Logo — Only federal, state, and local voter registration and election officials may use the Official Election Mail™ logo. This logo shows that a mailpiece is from an official election organization.

Click to learn more about the Official Election Mail logo, place, clearance, areas, and colors.

The Official Election Mail logo can be obtained by contacting a Mailpiece Design Analyst at (855) 593-6093 or mda@usps.gov.

Colors — You may use different envelope colors to distinguish ballot types, districts, elections, parties, or inserts. For readability, we suggest limiting colors to the upper left corner of the design, keeping the rest of the envelope white or a light pastel, and using dark ink for the delivery address and markings. Check with your Mailpiece Design Analyst about using colored paper and ink.

Color and Print Specifications PDF

Layout — Observe the correct white space and clearances for markings and logos. When using window envelopes, make sure the delivery address and any barcode are visible. Window content should have the correct margins from window edges.

Mailpiece Design Analysts

USPS® Mailpiece Design Analysts (MDA) are specially trained postal employees who can answer questions about mailpiece design, give advice on evaluating mailpieces for automation discounts, provide technical assistance on envelope standards, and help construct mailing plans.
Contact the MDA Customer Service Help Desk: (855) 593-6093 or mda@usps.gov

MAIL SECURITY

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is the primary federal law enforcement and security arm of the U.S. Postal Service. Postal Inspectors protect customers and investigate criminals who fraudulently misuse the U.S. Mail to commit crime. Through its security and enforcement functions, the Postal Inspection Service provides assurance to postal customers their mail will be delivered safely and securely.

Postal Inspectors enforce more than 200 federal laws through investigations of crimes that affect the postal system, including laws related to the desertion, obstruction, delay or destruction of mail. These are some of the laws enforced by Postal Inspectors under Title 18 of the U.S. Code:

SECTION/OFFENSE/PENALTY

1700 Desertion of mail Violators are fined or imprisoned not more than one year, or both
1701 Obstruction of mail generally Violators are fined or imprisoned not more than six months, or both
1702 Obstruction of correspondence Violators are fined or imprisoned not more than five years, or both
1703 Delay or destruction of mail Violators are fined or imprisoned not more than one year, or both
1709 Theft or receipt of stolen mail generally Violators are fined or imprisoned not more than five years, or both

USPS Office of Inspector General

The USPS Office of Inspector General is mandated to investigate fraud, waste and abuse for the U.S. Postal Service to maintain the integrity of postal processes and personnel. When they relate to criminal violations by postal employees and contractors, OIG Special Agents enforce sections 1700, 1701, 1702 and 1703 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code. In addition, OIG Special Agents investigate violations of section 1709, Theft of Mail Matter by Officers or Employees, which carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and/or a fine of $250,000.

LATEST NEWS