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Tech Tip: Political and Election Mail Guidelines

September 01, 2016

It is that time again. Fall is in the air and here comes the federal, state, and local elections. Do you know the difference between Political and Election Mail? If your client tells you that they want to do a “Franked Mailing” would you know what to do?

According to the Postal Bulletin (PB22443) published in June of this year:

  1. Election Mail is any item mailed to or from authorized election officials that enables citizens to participate in the voting process, such as ballot materials, voter registration cards, absentee applications, and polling place notifications.
  2. Political Mail is any material mailed at First-Class Mail or Standard Mail prices for political campaign purposes by a registered political candidate, a campaign committee (federal, state, or local), or a committee of a political party (Democratic National Committee, Republican Congressional Campaign Committee).
  3. Franked Mail is official mail sent by members and members-elect of Congress, the Vice-President, and other authorized individuals. Mail must relate to the mailer’s official business, activities, and duties. Franked Mail has a written or facsimile signature of an authorized user in the upper right corner of the envelope or a franked label, followed by “M.C.” standing for member of Congress, or “U.S.S.” for U.S. Senate. A Franked Mail label is required for items larger than a flat sized envelope. Franked Mail must not be returned for postage or delivered to the recipient as “postage due.”

That’s all well and good, but how do I indicate it in my mailing?

For paper postage statements (PS Form 3602 and PS Form 3600) generated by BCC Mail Manager, click the ‘Change Piece Details’ button on the PS Form window. The Piece Details window is displayed. Using the drop down menu, select either ‘Election Mail’ or ‘Political Mail’.  There is no selection for Franked Mail as it is illegal for a member of Congress or other authorized individuals to use franked mail for political purposes. (US Code Title 39 § 3210).

Both the ‘Mail piece page’ in the Mail.dat Wizard, and the ‘Mailing Details page’ in the eSubmission for Mail.XML Wizard also have ‘Content of Mail’ down menus.

If you have any questions regarding Political or Election mail, please feel free to call Customer Support at 1.800.624.5234.

References: Postal Bulletin 22443

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