Saturday, August 13, 2016

Handling Military Absentee Ballots

Beginning September 1, 2016, Military personnel in APO/FPO locations will be able to return absentee ballots via Priority Mail Express using Express Mail Label 11– DOD. This blue label will be affixed to the top of the absentee ballot return envelope or flat. The absentee ballot return envelope may be as small as a #10 business–sized envelope or as large as a flat-sized envelope.

This label is unique and only for use with absentee ballots originating from overseas Military Post Offices. These Priority Mail Express shipments will arrive from International Service Centers in Priority Mail Express sacks and must remain in the Priority Mail Express mailstream to the delivery unit. Both the Waiver of Signature request and Guaranteed By End Of Day endorsement are printed on the blue label. No deviation for delivery by a specific time is necessary, and the shipments always should be delivered on the day they arrive at the delivery unit. 

Postage will be paid by a Priority Mail Express Corporate Account. No postage should be charged at the destination, regardless of the type of envelope or flat used, even if the original envelope is a Business Reply Mail envelope or flat.

This is a joint federal agency initiative between the U.S. Postal Service and the Military Post Office for the U.S. Department of Defense. The label applied to the absentee ballot envelope or flat will allow United States service men and women to track their vote all the way to the County or Parrish Election Office, while generating new revenue for the U.S. Postal Service.

Mail Processing employees must ensure Absentee Ballot envelopes or flats with this label affixed at the top remain in the Priority Mail Express mailstream and receive an "Enroute" scan event. Customer Service and Delivery employees must identify incoming absentee ballot envelopes or flats as Priority Mail Express shipments. They also should ensure that these items receive the appropriate scan events and that letter carriers deliver as Priority Mail Express.

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