Preparing Election Materials to be Mailed

Make sure your mailing lists are current, envelopes are addressed properly, and all necessary forms and tags have been obtained. USPS provides an Election Mail Kit to assist with the preparation process.

Postage-Paid Indicia

Election materials for UOCAVA citizens can be sent as free postage-paid via First-Class Mail as authorized by 39 USC 3406 by election officials. These election materials include the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB), and State election materials, including letters acknowledging registration and State absentee ballots. To assist election officials, we have created the following envelope templates with the postage-paid indicia:

NOTE: It is important to remind UOCAVA citizens when returning balloting materials to you, the free postage-paid indicia can only be used if mailing from a U.S. Post Office, the Military Postal Service Agency (APO/FPO), or U.S. Diplomatic Pouch Mail. Materials sent through a foreign mail system or via common carrier (such as FedEx, DHL or UPS) must pay the rate for that service themselves.

Using a Postal Tag for Election Materials

What Is It?

Tag 191 identifies both domestic and UOCAVA election mail prepared at the First-Class Mail or Standard Mail rates. Tag 191 has a highly visible lime green color that displays the Official Election Mail Logo and the words "Ballots Only". The tag is not required but may be used for official ballot mail addressed for domestic or international delivery that is prepared in trays or sacks.

Can I Use It?

Only election officials may use Tag 191 to identify ballot mail. Organizations or individuals who send materials that promote political candidates, referendums or political campaigns may NOT use the Tag.

How Do I Use It?

Attach Tag 191 to mail under these guidelines:

  • Strapped Letter Trays: Attach using a wire twist tie to strap at the end of the tray that bears the tray label.
  • Non-strapped Letter Trays: Attach to the tray with a rubber band that is double-looped through the tray handhold at the end that bears the tray label.
  • Sacks with Flat-Size Mail: Depending on the type of sack, attach to either the strap or label holder on the sack.

How Do I Get It?

Ask your local Postmaster, Mail Piece Design Analyst, or Business Mail Entry Unit Contact to order a supply, and remember to make your request early.

Coordinate Your Mailings

Consult your local postal service coordinator to help coordinate your mailing. The coordinator will assist with: providing delivery dates, when to provide mail to the Postal Service, necessary bulk preparation supplies and equipment, required forms, return address options, and options for undeliverable mail. USPS offers a list of Election Mail Coordinators and District Sales Managers.