WASHINGTON, D.C. (KLFY) — The United States Postal Service (USPS) has launched a special set of webpages about voting through the mail ahead of November’s elections.
USPS has been embroiled in controversy as the debate rages over whether COVID-19 should make voting-by-mail a viable option for more voters this fall. A new analysis finds more than 180 million Americans, or 77 percent of eligible voters, will be able to cast a ballot by mail this fall.
“The Postal Service recognizes that many states are choosing to expand mail-in voting options in the upcoming elections and that there will likely be a significant increase in demand among postal customers to participate in those elections by using the mail,” stated a USPS press release. “In response, the Postal Service has updated its website to serve both voting customers seeking information on how to use the mail to vote and election officials seeking resources to help make their administration of the upcoming elections a success.”
The Election Mail webpages can be found at usps.com/votinginfo.
For domestic voters, the website provides direct links to federal election resources as well as links to state-specific resources. For overseas and military voters, the new site provides additional information, including links to resources supporting their election participation.
One of the biggest takeaways from the site is that voters looking to cast a ballot by mail should start as early as possible.
“To allow sufficient time for voters to receive, complete and return ballots via the mail, the Postal Service strongly recommends that voters request ballots at the earliest point allowable, but no later than 15 days prior to the election date,” stated the release. “The Postal Service also recommends that voters mail their ballots at least one week prior to their states’ due dates to allow for timely receipt by election officials. Voters should contact their local election officials for further information about deadlines and other requirements.”
The site also has information for state and local election officials, as well. There are guidelines for election-related mail that can not only make sure the parcels meet USPS requirements but also information that helps improve processing and mail visibility.
Postal Service General Counsel Thomas Marshall sent a letter to Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin on on Aug. 14, saying USPS cannot guarantee that votes sent by mail will reach their destinations by Election Day. Today’s release seemed to walk back that statement.
“The U.S. Postal Service remains fully committed to fulfilling its role in the electoral process when policymakers choose to use our services in administering elections. The Postal Service can fully handle and deliver the anticipated increase in Election Mail volume and is continuing to coordinate with state and local election officials through November,” stated the release.