KIT 600 ELECTION MAIL YOUR 2018 OFFICIAL - KIT 600 - About USPS
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YOUR 2018 OFFICIAL ELECTION MAIL™ KIT 600 ©2018 United States Postal Service.® All Rights Reserved. PLACE FPO FPO The Eagle Logo is among the many trademarks of the U.S. Postal Service.® APPROPRIATE FSC LOGO HERE KIT 600 ELECTION MAIL™ YOUR 2018 OFFICIAL
March 2018 As the busy election season nears, it is expected that 23 million voters across the nation will cast their ballots by domestic absentee ballot or by mail. To help you in the planning and preparation of election-related mail, the Postal Service™ has developed the 2018 Official Election Mail™ Program Kit. The kit is part of our continued commitment to provide you with the tools necessary to use the U.S. Mail™ as a secure, efficient, and effective way to facilitate the election process. New for 2018: You can order Tag 191, Domestic and International Ballots, online and they can be mailed directly to your office: please visit http://about.usps.com/gov-services/election-mail/ or contact your Business Mail Entry Unit at https://postalpro.usps.com/node/1623. Included in your 2018 Official Election Mail Program Kit: ■■Tag 191 Fact Sheet and Sample Tag — Information and guidelines to help your ballot mail get higher visibility during processing. ■■Informed Visibility® Mail Tracking and Reporting (IV® -MTR) Fact Sheet for Election Mail — IV -MTR is a service that provides near real-time mail tracking data for letter and flat pieces, ® bundles, handling units (trays, tubs, and sacks), and containers. ■■Steps to Creating Your Intelligent Mail® Barcode Fact Sheet — Learn how to create your own IMb to track ballots while in the mail stream and more. ® ■■Special Procedures APO/FPO/DPO Absentee Ballots Fact Sheet — Tips to ensure absentee ballots reach military personnel who are currently overseas. ■■Official Election Mail Program: an Overview for Election Officials Fact Sheet — Overview of the many benefits of using mail during the election process. ■■Publication 631, Official Election Mail—Graphic Guidelines and Logos — Learn proper usage of the Official Election Mail logo for inclusion on mailpieces. ■■Publication 632, State and Local Election Mail—User’s Guide — Contains information that election officials must consider before mailing Election Mail. ■■Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) — Revision to 703.8, Balloting Materials, effective October 7, 2013. ■■USPS ® Enabled an Election Mail Checkbox — An Election Mail Checkbox in the PostalOne!® processing system and on the following PS Forms: 3602-R, 3602-N, 3600-PM, and 3600-FCM provides USPS visibility of all Official Election Mail entered into the mailstream. ■■USPS Postmarks Mail Processed on USPS Letter Automation Processing Equipment That Applies Cancellations — The use of a postmark has a variety of uses including identifying the date of ballot materials, voter registration cards, absentee applications, polling place notifications, and tax filing submissions. 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW Washington DC 20260-3100 Visit us @ usps . com
Tag 191, Domestic and International Ballots The Postal Service recommends the use of green Tag 191, Domestic and International Ballots, to identify trays and sacks that contain ballot mail. Although use of the tag is optional, it provides greater visibility to containers of ballot mail as they move through Postal Service processing and distribution operations. Tag 191 may only be used to identify ballot mail addressed for domestic or international delivery. The tag is not to be used to identify containers of other types of Official Election Mail™ such as polling place notices, voter registration notices, or other election-related materials. Tag 191 may not be used by organizations or individuals for Political Campaign Mail that promotes political candidates, referendums, or political campaigns. Affix Tag 191 to the mail container as follows: ■■ Strapped Letter Trays: Using a plastic twist tie, attach Tag 191 to the strap at the end of the tray that bears the tray label. Please use this Tag 191 ■■ Non-strapped Letter Trays: For trays permitted to be tendered without for ballot mail. strapping, attach Tag 191 to the tray with a rubber band that is double-looped Additional tags through the tray handhold at the end that bears the tray label. can be obtained ■■ Sacks and Flat Trays with Flat-Size Mail: Depending on the type of sack, through your attach Tag 191 to either the strap or label holder on the sack. local Post Office™ facility. Availability: New for 2018: You can order Tag 191, Domestic and International Ballots, online and they can be mailed directly to your office: please visit http://about.usps.com/ gov-services/election-mail/ or contact your Business Mail Entry Unit at https:// postalpro.usps.com/node/1623. ©2012-2018 United States Postal Service®. All Rights Reserved. The Eagle Logo is among the many trademarks of the U.S. Postal Service®.
Informed Visibility® Mail Tracking and Reporting (IV®-MTR) Fact Sheet for Election Mail The IV-MTR application provides near real-time and expanded visibility of mailpieces (letters and flats), bundles, handling units (trays, tubs, and sacks), and containers. This provides you with insight as mail moves through the mailstream, enabling you to better plan election mail resources. IV-MTR also enables you to receive the data you want, when you want it, and how you want it through flexible data provisioning and data delegation. One way IV-MTR expands visibility is by leveraging GPS tracking information from carrier hand-held scanners to create logical delivery events, providing insight into when mail is delivered without the need for a physical scan. This helps fill in visibility gaps, giving you powerful end-to-end tracking capabilities. IV-MTR expands visibility beyond physical scans of mail objects by leveraging the intelligence of Full-Service Intelligent Mail® and nesting associations. For example, IV-MTR creates assumed handling events for nested mail whenever the mail aggregate containing the nested mail is scanned. How does IV-MTR help Election Officials? For outgoing mail, IV-MTR helps you do the following: ■■ Obtain near real-time notification when your mail receives its last processing scan. ■■ Identify mail delivery trends and predicted delivery dates. ■■ Know when mailpieces reach their destination so you can better manage election activities. For incoming reply mail, IV-MTR helps you do the following: ■■ Obtain near real-time notification when your return mail enters the mailstream. ■■ Know when voters’ return items are on the way and where they are in the Postal Service™ supply chain. How do I get started with IV-MTR? To learn more or get started with IV-MTR service, visit our website, send an email, or contact the IV-MTR help desk. https://postalpro.usps.com/visibility-and-tracking/ Website: informed-visibility-iv Email: InformedVisibility@usps.gov IV-MTR Help Desk: 1-800-238-3150, Option #2. The Help Desk is available 7 AM to 7 PM CT, Monday through Friday (closed on holidays). ©2018 United States Postal Service®. All Rights Reserved. The Eagle Logo is among the many trademarks of the U.S. Postal Service®.
Steps to creating your Intelligent Mail Barcode The Intelligent Mail® barcode (IMb®) is a 65-bar Postal Service™ barcode used to sort and track letters and flats. It Information about OneCode ACS is available in allows mailers to use a single barcode to participate in multiple Postal Service Publication 8b, OneCode ACS Technical Guide. programs simultaneously, expands mailers’ ability to track individual mailpieces, Information on IMb IV-MTR is available in the and provides greater mail stream visibility. IMb IV-MTR User Guide. Users should also read Publication for Streamlined Mail Acceptance The Intelligent Mail barcode can be applied on Priority Mail® pieces, First-Class for Letters and Flats, which provides in-depth Mail® pieces, USPS Marketing Mail® pieces, Nonprofit USPS Marketing Mail information about the Intelligent Mail program. pieces, Periodicals, letters and flats, and Bound Printed Matter flats. The IMb For information about address quality, go to: amshq.usps.gov/. can be used for IMb Informed Visibility® Mail Tracking and Reporting (IV®-MTR) service, and it can be used for address correction services: manual address Once the encoder and font are installed, correction notices, Address Change Service (ACS™), OneCode ACS®, and verify the print quality by producing samples, Intelligent Mail Full-Service ACS™. IMb IV-MTR application provides information as instructed in the encoder package. The Intelligent Mail Barcode Specification about when and where the Postal Service sorts a mailpiece on mail-processing USPSB-3200 and The Intelligent Mail Barcode equipment. Traditional ACS, OneCode ACS, and Full-Service ACS provide Technical Resource Guide provide extensive mailers with electronic address-correction information when a mailpiece cannot technical information about Intelligent Mail be delivered as addressed. barcodes. STEP 1: DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL THE ENCODER AND FONT The IMb consists of a 20-digit tracking code field (Barcode Identifier, Service Type Identifier, Mailer Identifier, and Serial Number) and a Routing Code (ZIP Code™) field of up to 11 digits. An encoder is required to convert the numeric digits into a 65-character string representing the bars of the IMb® tracking code, and a special font is required to convert the 65 alpha-character string into the IMb bars. Users can download a library of IMb tracking code fonts and computer source code from the Fonts and Encoders Download page at https://postalpro.usps.com/resources/mailing/ encoder-software-and-fonts. The Intelligent Mail Barcode Resource Download page on PostalPro™ provides many useful links and answers to frequently asked questions. STEP 2: APPLY FOR A MAILER IDENTIFIER A Mailer Identifier (Mailer ID or MID) is required for the IMb® tracking code. New Mailer IDs are assigned through centralized USPS® processes, generally through the Mailer ID system at https://gateway.usps.com/eAdmin/view/ signin (Business Customer Gateway). Refer to the User Access to Electronic Mailing Information and Reports Guide on PostalPro for step-by-step instructions for using the Mailer ID system. Mail owners and mail preparers will be assigned their six- or nine-digit MIDs based on criteria established by the Postal Service. For the PostalPro web site, go to https://postalpro.usps.com. The Intelligent Mail Mailer ID Application page on the PostalPro site explains the few exceptions to using the Business Customer Gateway to obtain new Mailer IDs, such as when requesting multiple Mailer IDs or Mailing Agents acting on behalf of Mail Owners. STEP 3: POPULATE THE BARCODE FIELDS The five IMb fields are the Barcode Identifier, the Service Type Identifier, the Mailer ID, the Serial Number, and the Routing Code (ZIP Code). The Barcode Identifier field should be “00” (zero-zero) with one exception: automation-price eligible flat mail bearing a printed optional endorsement line (OEL). When mailers prepare flat-size pieces using IMb tracking codes to meet automation-price eligibility requirements, the IMb tracking codes on any pieces bearing printed OELs must contain the Barcode Identifier corresponding to the printed OEL used. See the Barcode ID Reference Table on PostalPro to determine the correct Barcode Identifier. The attributes that determine which Service Type Identifier (STID) should appear in an IMb tracking code are the class of mail, the ACS service desired, and whether IMb IV-MTR service is desired. See the Service Type ID Reference Table on the PostalPro site to determine the correct Service Type Identifier. (continued on back)
The Mailer Identifier (MID) is explained in Step 2, above. All Intelligent Mail barcodes must contain a valid MID, except in the case of Origin barcodes, where the Mailer ID and Serial Number fields are combined to provide the full 15 digits for customer use. The Serial Number, in conjunction with the MID and class of mail, can uniquely identify the mailpiece. Currently, Serial Number uniqueness is not required to qualify for basic automation prices. The Intelligent Mail Full-Service option requires that mailpieces be uniquely identified, and the tracking code cannot be reused for a period of 45 days. Depending on the length of the MID, the Serial Number is either a nine- or six-digit number. The Routing Code can contain a 5-digit ZIP Code, 9-digit ZIP+4® code, or 11-digit delivery-point code. To obtain automation discounts, a Delivery-Point ZIP Code from CASS™ -certified (Coding Accuracy Support System) software is required. Mailers may opt not to populate the ZIP Code and use the IMb tracking code only for tracking the mailpiece. If populated, it must never be padded with leading or trailing zeros that are not part of a valid 5-, 9-, or 11-digit ZIP Code. The Intelligent Mail barcode concatenates the five fields in this way: Six-Digit Mailer Identifier 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Barcode Service Mailer ID Serial Number Routing Code (ZIP Code) ID Type ID [6N] [9N] [none, 5, 9, or 11N] [2N] [3N] Nine-Digit Mailer Identifier 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Barcode Service Mailer ID Serial Number Routing Code (ZIP Code) ID Type ID [9N] [6N] [none, 5, 9, or 11N] [2N] [3N] IMb with Origin IMb IV Service Type ID (Service Type ID = 050, 051, or 052) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Barcode Service Original IMb IV Customer Number Routing Code (ZIP Code) ID Type ID (Available to the mailer to use for their own identification purposes) (Serves as “Subscriber ID” for Origin IMb Tracing) [2N] [3N] [15N] [9 or 11N] STEP 4: PUT EVERYTHING TOGETHER Once mailers have selected service(s), received a MID, and devised a unique serial number strategy, they are ready to put the five fields together to form the 20- to 31-digit string, encode it to 65 characters, and convert the 65-character string using the IMb font to form the 65-bar Intelligent Mail barcode as in the example below. On letters, the Intelligent Mail barcode can be placed in the address block or in the barcode clear zone. On flats, it can be placed on the address side at least 1/8 inch from the edge of the piece. Learn more about the Intelligent Mail barcode at https://postalpro.usps.com. EXAMPLE: Service Type ID of 270 (First-Class Mail®, Intelligent Mail Full-Service option, with IMb IV service, no address correction), Mailer ID 123456, uniquely identified by Serial Number 200800001, going to ZIP Code 98765-4321(01), is encoded like this: Digit String: 0027012345620080000198765432101 Æ Intelligent Mail barcode encoder Æ Encoded string (T=Tracker, F=Full Bar, A=Ascender, D=Descender): TTFAFDADTFFFADTAFAFTTDATDFAAFTDAFDFDFDATFDFTDDDDFADFFDADDTDDTTDAT Æ Intelligent Mail barcode font Æ Intelligent Mail barcode: ©2018 United States Postal Service®. All Rights Reserved. The Eagle Logo is among the many trademarks of the U.S. Postal Service®.
Special Procedures: APO/FPO/DPO Absentee Ballots September 1, 2018 – November 30, 2018 The United States Postal Service® and the Military Postal Service have again joined forces to expedite delivery of federal absentee ballots to overseas military personnel. We recognize the important role mail plays in the election process and are committed to ensuring that everyone who APO/FPO/DPO votes by mail experiences a smooth, well-organized process — one that 090 AE IL 62109 provides them with the highest level of trust and confidence. The following Special Procedures for APO/FPO/DPO Absentee Ballots are provided for Absentee Ballots 090–099 Election Officials and Postal Service™ employees. Program Summary: ■■ Election officials should mail absentee ballots at least 45 days prior to the November 6, 2018, Mid-Term Election. All military absentee ballots mailed by election officials from September 1 through November 6, 2018, will be subject to special handling procedures. APO/FPO/DPO ■■ Local election offices are requested to segregate military absentee ballots to the Chicago International/Military Service Center (CI/MSC) ADC MIAMI FL 331 gateway and the Miami International gateway (ISC). Absentee Ballots 340 ■■ Trays or containers of absentee ballot mail may be identified using Tag 191, Domestic and International Ballots, and presented to the Post Office™. ■■ Contact your local Post Office facility for more information on standard procedures for election offices. ■■ APO/FPO/DPO absentee ballots will be sent from local Post Office locations to the nearest Processing & Distribution Center for further APO/FPO/DPO processing. 962 AP IL 62196 ■■ At the International Service Centers, absentee ballots receive special handling. Absentee Ballots 962–966 ELECTION OFFICIALS: Separate military absentee ballots by preparing bundles for the two ISC military gateways: Chicago and Miami. Directions for marking the bundles. ISC Name ISC State Abbreviation ISC ZIP Code™ Range Chicago AE 090–099 Chicago AP 962–966 APO/FPO/DPO Miami AA 340 MIXED Absentee Ballots If fewer than five (5) pieces will be in a separate bundle, a mixed bundle may be prepared. This bundle must have the facing slip marked, “APO/FPO/DPO MIXED – Absentee Ballots.” ©2018 United States Postal Service®. All Rights Reserved. The Eagle Logo is among the many trademarks of the U.S. Postal Service®.
Official Election Mail: Vote-by-Mail. Before they go to the ballot box, they’ll go to the mailbox. States and localities are increasingly using mail in the election process. That’s why we’re committed to providing you with the training and tools necessary to implement successful and cost-effective mail strategies for any official state or local election. The following overview highlights the many benefits of working with USPS® on your Vote-by-Mail program. Get more details at usps.com/electionmail. Track the Vote. With Informed Visibility® Mail Tracking and Reporting service, you can track incoming and outgoing mail as it travels through the Postal Service™ system. This powerful tool helps you manage the election process. For added security and peace of mind, Official Election Mail™ is protected by the United States Postal Inspection Service®, the oldest federal law enforcement agency in the nation. More details and mailing resources are available at usps.com/electionmail.
Official Election Mail Program: an Overview for Election Officials. U.S. Postal Service Training Program For The U.S. Postal Service® makes it easy to add the benefits of mail to your next information election. We provide training, tools, and resources to help you and your staff get on preparing started. We’ll even help you plan your program, improve the quality and accuracy of and sending your address file, and design smart, cost-effective mailpieces. The information below introduces you to the services and assistance we provide. mail, visit our election Training Addressing officials’ The U.S. Postal Service has developed Address quality is critical to the timely presentations and has resources to help and efficient delivery of your mail. Your mailing Election Officials prepare, induct, and track address lists should be up-to-date, resources site mail sent to voters and returned to the Board accurate, and complete. To assist you at usps.com/ of Elections. Please contact your Election Mail with this, the U.S. Postal Service offers coordinator at usps.com/electionmail for several products and services, including electionmail. more information. software to help you improve the You’ll also find accuracy of your mailings. resources to Planning Planning your mailing in advance will Designing help you plan, help ensure that it goes out in a timely, Mailpiece design analysts (MDAs) can address, and efficient manner, which is vital during an greatly improve your mail service and design Official election period. Our team of Election Mail reduce postage costs. Postal Service specialists can help you: MDAs will help ensure quality and show Election Mail. ■■ Determine the appropriate class of you how to choose a layout according to mail and the eligibility of the contents Postal Service guidelines and regulations. of the mailpiece based upon the MDAs can be reached by emailing specific purpose of the mailing (e.g., email@example.com or by calling information, ballots, voter registration). 855-593-6093, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. CST. ■■ Choose the best postage payment Official Election Mail™ Logo options for outgoing and return Display mailpieces. the logo ■■ Identify any extra services that may be on your ©2018 United States Postal needed. mailpiece Service®. All Rights Reserved. The Eagle Logo and the ■■ Provide extra lead time for mailings to to indicate trademarks identified in this armed forces personnel and overseas your mail is from a document are among the many trademarks of the U.S. Postal voters. state or local voter registration or Service®. election official. You can download it at usps.com/electionmail. More details and mailing resources are available at usps.com/electionmail.
Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual Reports about ballots being mailed back to election officials with insufficient postage are on the rise. Each election cycle presents a different set of parameters for ballot creation and for the size and weight of the return mailpiece. As a result, many voters do not know the correct amount of postage required to return their ballots by mail. Effective October 7, 2013, the Postal Service™ revised Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) (https://pe.usps.com/) 703.8 requiring that the balloting materials for all types of ballots, whether disseminated in hardcopy or electronically, must indicate in a prominent location the proper amount of First-Class Mail® postage that must be applied. This information must be included in the balloting materials (i.e., on the ballot, ballot instructions, mailing instructions, or the envelope) with the marking “First‑Class Mail postage must be applied.” Alternatively, the marking “Apply First-Class Mail postage here” could be printed in the upper- right corner of the address side of the envelope used by the voter to return the ballot to election officials. The Postal Service will also accept approved variations of the above markings. Additionally, balloting materials must indicate, in a prominent location, the specific amount of First-Class Mail postage required for the return of the ballot to election officials. The marking requirements will not apply to balloting materials that meet one of the following exceptions: ■■ The balloting materials are qualified under the special exemption for military and overseas voting. ■■ The ballot is returned under Business Reply Mail® service. ■■ Return postage is guaranteed through a postage due account. ■■ Postage on the ballot is prepaid by stamps, meter, or Permit Reply Mail. Election officials should consult with Postal Service officials to assist with mailpiece design and barcode placement and to determine the proper amount of postage required for mailing ballots to voters and the return of ballots to election officials. Noncompliant Mailings For mailers who submit election ballot mailings that are noncompliant with current return postage requirements, the following acceptance procedures are to be observed: The mailer can submit a written request to the manager, Business Mail Entry, requesting a one-time-exception to allow the mailing to be accepted. The Pricing and Classification Service Center will review the exception request. ©2018 United States Postal Service®. All Rights Reserved. The Eagle Logo is among the many trademarks of the U.S. Postal Service®.
USPS Enabled an Election Mail Checkbox The Postal Service™ is committed to improving election mail processes. As such, effective January 26, 2014, USPS® enabled an Election Mail Checkbox in PostalOne!® processing and the following Postage Statements: PS Form 3602-R, PS Form 3602-N, PS Form 3600-PM, and PS Form 3600-FCM. The purpose of this change is to provide USPS visibility of all Official Election Mail entered into the mailstream. Please check the “This is Official Election Mail” box for each mailing presented for acceptance. This will provide the USPS insight about election mail volume by entry point that may help with future Postal Service capacity planning. As an example of the postage statement changes, PS Forms 3600-FCM, Postage Statement—First-Class Mail and First-Class Package Service and 3602-R, Postage Statement—USPS Marketing Mail™ are illustrated below. PS Form 3600-FCM, Postage Statement—First-Class Mail and First-Class Package Service PS Form 3602-R, Postage Statement—USPS Marketing Mail ©2018 United States Postal Service®. All Rights Reserved. The Eagle Logo is among the many trademarks of the U.S. Postal Service®.
USPS Postmarks Mail Processed on USPS Letter Automation Processing Equipment That Applies Cancellations The U.S. Postal Service® recognizes The result of this improvement is that elections for political offices are the First-Class Mail® processed on Letter bedrock of our system of government. Automation Compatible Postage We greatly value our role in the election Cancellation Systems identifies the date process as well as the relationships we the mail was processed at the mail have with Election Officials. processing facility near origin or drop In response to mailers’ and municipal shipment location (see Figures 1, 2, and officials’ requests, the Postal Service™ 3). This change has a variety of uses, began applying a cancellation mark to including identifying the date the Postal all letter pieces processed on USPS® Service™ accepted custody of ballot Letter Automation Compatible Postage materials. Cancellation Systems in March 2014. Figures 1, 2, and 3 Sample Alternative Cancellation Marks (Images not to scale) ©2018 United States Postal Service®. All Rights Reserved. The Eagle Logo is among the many trademarks of the U.S. Postal Service®.
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