Political and Election Mail are part of a long tradition in American political history. Political Mail is defined as any mailpiece sent for political campaign purposes by a registered candidate, a campaign committee, or a committee of a political party to promote candidates, referendums, or campaigns. Election Mail refers to items such as ballots, voter registration cards, and absentee applications that an authorized election official creates for voters.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic – and as a result of it – the number of Americans voting by mail rather than going to polls has increased significantly. As we detailed in our June 2021 white paper, Vote by Mail and the Postal Service: A Primer, just 21 percent of votes in the 2016 general election were cast via mail. In the November 2020 election, 46 percent of votes were – nearly half.
Accordingly, the OIG expanded its monitoring and oversight of the Postal Service’s ability to timely process and deliver Election Mail. Leading up to and also during the 2020 general election and the ensuing Georgia Senate runoff, we conducted more than 2,000 site visits to observe and monitor operations at various postal facilities around the country. The details and results of this work are chronicled in our March 2021 audit report, Service Performance of Election and Political Mail During the November 2020 General Election. Moving forward, the OIG will continue to focus on protecting the integrity of political and election mailings.
Our Election and Political Mail Work
|Date||Document Title||Type||Report Number||Category|
|04/11/2022||Report of Investigation – Case No. 21INV00781||Other||Election and Political Mail|
|06/01/2021||Vote by Mail and the Postal Service: A Primer||White Papers||RISC-WP-21-004||Delivery / Mail Processing, Election and Political Mail|
|04/29/2021||International Election Mail Observations for the 2020 General and 2021 Georgia Senate Runoff Elections||Audit Reports||21-007-R21||Election and Political Mail, Service Performance|
|03/05/2021||Service Performance of Election and Political Mail During the November 2020 General Election||Audit Reports||20-318-R21||Election and Political Mail, Service Performance|
|02/26/2021||Report of Investigation – Case No. 21INV00469||Other||21INV00469||Election and Political Mail|