Ten Reasons You Need a Mail Expert on Your Election Team

— From Quadient (formerly Neopost)

Let’s call 2020 the year of challenges: A presidential election. A highly polarized political environment. The coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing. Anticipated, unprecedented increases in mail-in ballots.

QUADIENTVote By Mail 2020

This year, you’ll need to go above and beyond to meet the challenges required to administer elections. You still need to ensure that every vote counts. You need to quickly develop an effective plan to support mail-in ballots and do it on a really tight budget that you may not even have yet. You need a complete, accountable view of your process that can be done while distancing, supported by a smaller number of staffers and volunteers than you’re used to. You need tools and workflows to oversee mail processes, tracking, validation and reporting to a higher degree than you ever have before.

Here’s ten reasons why you need mail experts:

1. Unprecedented increases in vote-by-mail requests

According to data from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, nearly 25% of the 136 million presidential ballots cast in 2016 were mailed in. Experts say that number could be as much as 70% in 2020, especially if the health risk from coronavirus continues. If you didn’t have a mail expert on your team before, you’ll definitely need one now!

2. You don’t need a huge investment to make a huge impact

When it comes to mailing, bigger and more expensive equipment isn’t necessarily better. When you work with mail experts, they will help you examine your current processes to measure capacity and efficiency while looking to identify gaps in the workflow that can lead to critical errors, delays or breakdowns.

3. One size doesn’t fit all

Every state in the U.S. offers absentee mail-in voting to some degree, but each infrastructure is unique. You’ll need mail experts who can quickly evaluate your current mail-in ballot program and make recommendations that best fit your existing process and systems, as well as your individual locality.

4. So you’re not in this alone

A shift to mail-in ballots changes the landscape quite a bit. Current elections have been designed and staffed for voting that is primarily done at the polls. A recent poll by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal reports that two-thirds of all U.S. voters support mail-in ballots. This means it’s more likely that in 2020 that you’ll have to oversee a different kind of process—the mail preparation process. You’ll need to navigate a multi-step outbound mail process, secure inbound tracking and harness the U.S. Postal Service.

5. The situation is constantly evolving

If you’re in a position of planning right now, that’s good. What about redundancy plans and back-up plans? Mail experts are trained to identify gaps and create redundancies. They’re accustom to working with companies that send mail of a highly secure nature under strict regulation, such as accounting firms and the medical industry. With a mail expert on your team, you’ll get access to that knowledge base. You’ll be able to execute plans, scale and optimize them as Election Day nears and, most importantly, adapt quickly when you need to.

6. Failure is not an option

Generally, there is about a 20 percent increase in voter turnout during a presidential election when compared to midterm elections, so it makes sense to get an expert from the mail industry on your team early. For precedent, many states are looking to Wisconsin’s primary and Supreme Court elections this past April. Voting by mail rose to more than 70 percent, from around 6 percent in previous elections. There are a lot of fresh lessons learned from the Wisconsin primary that mail experts can help you anticipate and plan for in your state.

7. Mail is non-partisan

Mail experts care about providing the right tools to ensure you have a good election. They get really passionate about things like processes, workflows and efficiencies. For mail experts, a successful election is one that ensures your staffers have the solutions and structures in place to handle the outbound and inbound processing of mail ballots.

8. Volunteers are needed … to stay home

According a 2016 survey by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, there’s already a national shortage of poll workers. Two-thirds of jurisdictions indicated they had a hard time recruiting enough poll workers on Election Day. Volunteers can be the key to ensuring a successful election. However this year, you may have less hands to rely on. Mail experts are on the cutting-edge of automation. They spend every day educating teams, companies and organizations about mail preparation solutions that can be used when you don’t have the extra hands, want to free-up your dedicated volunteers for more significant tasks or need to minimize errors.

9. High stakes, low funding

To say the stakes are high is an understatement. The CARES Act, signed into law in late March, provided $400 million to help states prepare for the 2020 election due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, groups are saying more is needed, somewhere in the area of $2 to $4 billion. You’ll want to start exploring your options and getting advice on risk-limiting solutions and processes as soon as possible. You should potentially have a plan that can scale in the hopes that funding will too. Mail experts can help you get up to speed on what you need to know about maintaining ballot integrity, postage costs, address validity and establishing chain of custody.

10. Timing is everything

You have less than 5 months before November 3, 2020. Now is the time.

Quadient helps elections officials administer elections and build successful vote-by-mail programs quickly. With more than 90+ years’ experience in the mail industry, Quadient offers dedicated vote-by-mail experts in over 200 locations across the country ready to help. For more information, click here or call 800-547-5868.