KIT 600 - YOUR 2018 OFFICIAL ELECTION MAIL
KIT 600 - YOUR 2018 OFFICIAL ELECTION MAIL
2018 United States Postal Service.® All Rights Reserved. The Eagle Logo is among the many trademarks of the U.S. Postal Service.® PLACE APPROPRIATE FSC LOGO HERE FPO FPO YOUR 2018 OFFICIAL ELECTION MAIL ™ KIT 600 YOUR 2018 OFFICIAL ELECTION MAIL™ KIT 600
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW Washington DC 20260-3100 Visit us @ usps.com 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.
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.
- Non-strapped Letter Trays: For trays permitted to be tendered without strapping, attach Tag 191 to the tray with a rubber band that is double-looped through the tray handhold at the end that bears the tray label.
- Sacks and Flat Trays with Flat-Size Mail: Depending on the type of sack, attach Tag 191 to either the strap or label holder on the sack. 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®. Please use this Tag 191 for ballot mail. Additional tags can be obtained through your local Post Office™ facility.
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. Website: https://postalpro.usps.com/visibility-and-tracking/ 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).
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 allows mailers to use a single barcode to participate in multiple Postal Service programs simultaneously, expands mailers’ ability to track individual mailpieces, and provides greater mail stream visibility. The Intelligent Mail barcode can be applied on Priority Mail® pieces, First-Class Mail® pieces, USPS Marketing Mail® pieces, Nonprofit USPS Marketing Mail pieces, Periodicals, letters and flats, and Bound Printed Matter flats.
The IMb 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 correction notices, Address Change Service (ACS™), OneCode ACS®, and Intelligent Mail Full-Service ACS™. IMb IV-MTR application provides information about when and where the Postal Service sorts a mailpiece on mail-processing equipment. Traditional ACS, OneCode ACS, and Full-Service ACS provide mailers with electronic address-correction information when a mailpiece cannot be delivered as addressed.
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 sixor 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. Information about OneCode ACS is available in Publication 8b, OneCode ACS Technical Guide. Information on IMb IV-MTR is available in the IMb IV-MTR User Guide. Users should also read Publication for Streamlined Mail Acceptance for Letters and Flats, which provides in-depth information about the Intelligent Mail program.
For information about address quality, go to: amshq.usps.gov/.
Once the encoder and font are installed, verify the print quality by producing samples, as instructed in the encoder package. The Intelligent Mail Barcode Specification USPSB-3200 and The Intelligent Mail Barcode Technical Resource Guide provide extensive technical information about Intelligent Mail barcodes. (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 nineor 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 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Barcode ID [2N] Service Type ID [3N] Mailer ID [6N] Serial Number [9N] Routing Code (ZIP Code) [none, 5, 9, or 11N] Nine-Digit Mailer Identifier 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Barcode ID [2N] Service Type ID [3N] Mailer ID [9N] Serial Number [6N] Routing Code (ZIP Code) [none, 5, 9, or 11N] IMb with Origin IMb IV Service Type ID (Service Type ID = 050, 051, or 052) 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Barcode ID [2N] Service Type ID [3N] Original IMb IV Customer Number (Available to the mailer to use for their own identification purposes) [15N] Routing Code (ZIP Code) (Serves as “Subscriber ID” for Origin IMb Tracing) [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. ©2018 United States Postal Service®. All Rights Reserved. The Eagle Logo is among the many trademarks of the U.S. Postal Service®. 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:
Special Procedures: APO/FPO/DPO Absentee Ballots ©2018 United States Postal Service®. All Rights Reserved. The Eagle Logo is among the many trademarks of the U.S. Postal Service®. APO/FPO/DPO 090 AE IL 62109 Absentee Ballots 090–099 APO/FPO/DPO ADC MIAMI FL 331 Absentee Ballots 340 APO/FPO/DPO 962 AP IL 62196 Absentee Ballots 962–966 APO/FPO/DPO MIXED 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 votes by mail experiences a smooth, well-organized process — one that provides them with the highest level of trust and confidence.
The following Special Procedures for APO/FPO/DPO Absentee Ballots are provided for 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.
- Local election offices are requested to segregate military absentee ballots to the Chicago International/Military Service Center (CI/MSC) gateway and the Miami International gateway (ISC).
- 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 processing.
- At the International Service Centers, absentee ballots receive special handling. 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 Miami AA 340 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.”
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.
Addressing Address quality is critical to the timely and efficient delivery of your mail. Your address lists should be up-to-date, accurate, and complete. To assist you with this, the U.S. Postal Service offers several products and services, including software to help you improve the accuracy of your mailings. Designing Mailpiece design analysts (MDAs) can greatly improve your mail service and reduce postage costs. Postal Service MDAs will help ensure quality and show you how to choose a layout according to Postal Service guidelines and regulations. MDAs can be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 855-593-6093, 7 a.m.
5 p.m. CST. Official Election Mail™ Logo Display the logo on your mailpiece to indicate your mail is from a state or local voter registration or election official. You can download it at usps.com/electionmail.
Official Election Mail Program: an Overview for Election Officials. U.S. Postal Service Training Program The U.S. Postal Service® makes it easy to add the benefits of mail to your next election. We provide training, tools, and resources to help you and your staff get started. We’ll even help you plan your program, improve the quality and accuracy of your address file, and design smart, cost-effective mailpieces. The information below introduces you to the services and assistance we provide. Training The U.S. Postal Service has developed presentations and has resources to help Election Officials prepare, induct, and track mail sent to voters and returned to the Board of Elections.
Please contact your Election Mail coordinator at usps.com/electionmail for more information.Planning Planning your mailing in advance will help ensure that it goes out in a timely, efficient manner, which is vital during an election period. Our team of Election Mail specialists can help you:
- Determine the appropriate class of mail and the eligibility of the contents of the mailpiece based upon the specific purpose of the mailing (e.g., information, ballots, voter registration).
- Choose the best postage payment options for outgoing and return mailpieces.
- Identify any extra services that may be needed.
Provide extra lead time for mailings to armed forces personnel and overseas voters.
For information on preparing and sending mail, visit our election officials’ mailing resources site at usps.com/ electionmail. You’ll also find resources to help you plan, address, and design Official Election Mail. More details and mailing resources are available at usps.com/electionmail. ©2018 United States Postal Service® . All Rights Reserved. The Eagle Logo and the trademarks identified in this document are among the many trademarks of the U.S. Postal Service® .
- 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 elections for political offices are the bedrock of our system of government. We greatly value our role in the election process as well as the relationships we have with Election Officials. In response to mailers’ and municipal officials’ requests, the Postal Service™ began applying a cancellation mark to all letter pieces processed on USPS® Letter Automation Compatible Postage Cancellation Systems in March 2014. The result of this improvement is that First-Class Mail® processed on Letter Automation Compatible Postage Cancellation Systems identifies the date the mail was processed at the mail processing facility near origin or drop shipment location (see Figures 1, 2, and 3).
This change has a variety of uses, including identifying the date the Postal Service™ accepted custody of ballot materials.
2018 United States Postal Service® . All Rights Reserved. The Eagle Logo is among the many trademarks of the U.S. Postal Service® . Figures 1, 2, and 3 Sample Alternative Cancellation Marks (Images not to scale)