From now until the November elections, employees can expect to see Vote-by-Mail (absentee) ballots in the mail. All ballots, except those bearing the indicia “US Postage Paid 39 USC 3406,” require postage. Nonetheless, some ballots will be shortpaid and some will contain no postage at all. It is critical that this mail is handled correctly to avoid any negative impact on election results or the Postal Service.
The willful delay of Vote-by-Mail (absentee) balloting material or other election material is a violation of policy, ethics and law. All employees must adhere to postal policy as follows:
- Shortpaid and unpaid Vote-by-Mail (absentee) balloting materials must never be returned to the voter for additional postage. Postage is collected from the election office upon delivery or at a later date. Do not delay delivery of balloting materials.
- Account for Vote-by-Mail absentee ballots with insufficient or no postage using existing procedures for Postage Due mail. Attempt to collect the postage due from the election office at the time of delivery. However, absentee ballots must be delivered even if the receiving election office refuses to pay.
- Military and overseas absentee ballots bearing indicia “US Postage Paid 39 USC 3406” are not shortpaid and no additional postage is needed. Refer to DMM 703.8.0.