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electionlineWeekly — February 9, 2017

Table of Contents

I. In Focus This Week

You’ve got mail!
Electionmail: Be part of the solution!

By Tammy Patrick
Bipartisan Policy Center

2016 saw more voters using the United States Postal Service to either receive their ballot, return their ballot, or both, than in any other election cycle.

The establishment of www.electionmail.org helped to identify some common issues that we will continue to work on in 2017 and beyond — and you can help!

USPS will be revisiting electionmail specifications and is seeking information on envelope designs and requirements to inform this decision-making process. Please consider these 5 easy actions:

1. AUTOMATION COMPATIBILITY: USPS needs samples to run through automation testing to see how they react with flexibility, sizes, etc. (A sort of L&A on their equipment if you will.)

Send 10 examples of ballot packets (outbound with the return materials included, just like you would if you were sending it to a voter) along with documentation that it was approved by a USPS Mailpiece Design Specialist (if applicable) to:

US Postal Service
Attn: Election Mail Program Manager
PO Box 23282
Washington, DC 20026-3282

2. DESIGN STANDARDS: Send your statutory requirement citations for return ballot content (voter signature, affidavit, etc.) to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

3. COMMUNICATION: Send contact for your mail vendor to possibly be contacted by USPS to discuss ways to improve their services to you: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

4. ELECTIONMAIL.ORG: Did you use www.electionmail.org to report a problem? If so, please complete our survey located on the site so we can improve the service.

5. COMING SOON!! MAIL CLASS & BALLOT SERVICE TYPE ID (STID): the exciting news is that USPS is creating a STID for ballots!! Now we need to understand what class of service you’re using to ensure a STID is created for that class. Be on the lookout in the next few weeks for a survey, or send your information (including the type of return mail-service) to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Tammy Patrick at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Dan Bentley at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

(Electionmail.org is a joint project of the Bipartisan Policy Center and Democracy Works with generous support provided by Democracy Fund.)

(Tammy Patrick is a fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Her work focuses on the recommendations of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, to which she was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2013 and served as a commissioner. Prior to that she worked for 11 years as a federal compliance officer in Maricopa County. Patrick serves on the steering committee for National Voter Registration Day and the board of advisors for the Center for Technology in Civic Life.)