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Pushing the Envelope Blog

Mid-Terms and the Mail

Date: 10/10/22 | Category: Mail Processing & Transportation

Given the significant role mailed ballots played during the 2020 general election — about half of all votes traveled through the U.S. Postal Service network — and the increased attention focused on voting by mail, we assessed the Postal Service’s readiness for the upcoming November mid-term elections.

Of course, the main driver of voting by mail two years ago was the COVID-19 pandemic, which has subsided from its peak, but mailed ballots have already figured notably in 2022 primaries. In fact, the Postal Service processed nearly 10 million more Election Mail pieces from April 1 through June 30 of this year than the same period for the 2020 primaries. Voting by mail will likely be significant again this fall.

The good news is we found that the Postal Service is generally ready for timely processing of mid-term Election Mail. For instance, the Postal Service established the Election and Government Mail Services Organization, a permanent entity focused solely on dealing with election matters. The agency also prioritized timely processing and delivery of Election Mail during the primaries, and it implemented recommendations we made in prior audit work.

Still, in a few cases, we found the Postal Service wasn’t compliant with its own Election Mail policies. Three of six mail processing and distribution centers and one of 10 delivery units we reviewed failed to complete in full the required checklists, certifications, and postmarking. And we found USPS was able to measure service performance for only 83.3 percent of identifiable ballots. While that represents progress, we noted it’s important that the agency continues to identify root causes of ballots excluded from measurement. We made three recommendations, and management generally agreed with all.

We plan to continue our election mail work during the mid-term elections. Currently, we are undertaking an audit that will visit 500 facilities before the election. You can keep track of all our work on these issues on our Election and Political Mail page.

Are you planning to vote by mail in the mid-term elections?

Leave a Comment

Your Name
Patricia A Valente
Nov 23, 2022
Your Comment
The USPS mail service can do better if they would hire more permanent people to do processing and carrier work. The temporary employees are a constant training curve that strains permanent employees already assigned in addition to their regular duties.
Your Name
Andrew Pratt
Nov 5, 2022
Your Comment
Thank you for posting this topic. I plan to vote in person.

I am hoping agents will be working to guard against interference with our mail's chain of custody on Tuesday in Pennsylvania, such as deliberately discarded bags of mail that can create doubt about election integrity.

You definitely have a big job to deal with.

Thank you for all that you do!
Your Name
Eileen Tersago
Oct 13, 2022
Your Comment
I would not trust the P.O. to get these registrations there on time with DeJoy STILL running it !!! I vote early and in person !
Your Name
Gary Raymond
Oct 12, 2022
Your Comment
My local station refused to deliver my 2020 US Census form to my PO box. I cannot trust the USPS to deliver my ballot correctly and timely.
Your Name
Oct 11, 2022
Your Comment
its been a few times that the mail carriers have lacked on delivering mail n when they do they just put random people mail in our mailboxes people that dont even leave in the apartment complex.