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Tech Notes

Election Mail vs. Political Mail

Official Election Mail

Official Election Mail is any mailpiece created by an authorized election official that is mailed to or from a citizen of the United States for the purpose of participating in the voting process including:

  • Vote-by-Mail ballots.
  • Sample ballot materials.
  • Voter registration cards.
  • Absentee applications.
  • Polling place notifications.

Political Campaign Mail

Political Campaign Mail is any piece mailed for political campaign purposes by a registered political candidate, a campaign committee, or a committee of a political party to promote political candidates, referendums, or political campaigns. This mail may qualify for Nonprofit Standard Mail® prices (DMM 703). The following is further information on Political Campaign Mail:

  • Mail meeting this definition is considered Political Campaign Mail regardless of whether the election is partisan or nonpartisan.
  • A brochure promoting the candidacy of one or more registered candidates for elected office on the local, state, or federal levels is a common example of a political campaign mailpiece.
  • Political campaign mailpieces may bear an endorsement required by federal or state law that is similar to: “Paid for by the committee to elect John Smith and authorized by John Smith.”
  • Specific responsibilities for handling political campaign mailings are detailed in Postal Operations Manual (POM) 492.
  • Mail from organizations, such as labor unions, religious groups, retiree organizations, and others that endorse specific candidates or political issues or engage in issue advocacy or voter mobilization, is political message mail.

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