Election Mail is any mailpiece that an authorized election official creates for voters participating in the election process and includes ballots and voter registration materials. The U.S. Postal Service has specific policies and procedures on the proper acceptance, processing, delivery, and recording of Election Mail.
What We Did
Our objective was to evaluate the Postal Service’s readiness for timely processing of Election Mail for the 2022 mid-term election to be held Tuesday, November 8, 2022. To evaluate readiness, during primary elections, we reviewed Election Mail policies, analyzed service performance data, and conducted observations at six Processing and Distribution Centers and 10 delivery units. We also followed up on 14 prior recommendations to determine if the Postal Service’s corrective actions were effective.
What We Found
We found that generally, the Postal Service is ready for timely processing of Election Mail for the 2022 mid-term election. The Postal Service established the Election and Government Mail Services Organization, prioritized the timely processing and delivery of Election Mail during 2022 primary elections, implemented prior audit recommendations, and made progress in implementing Election Mail policies. The Postal Service processed nearly 10 million more Election Mail pieces from April 1 through June 30, 2022, than the same period for the 2020 primaries. Even with the significant increase, the Postal Service delivered 97.6 percent of identifiable Election Mail on time, an increase of 1 percentage point when compared to the same period in 2020.
However, we did find examples where the Postal Service was not in compliance with Election Mail policies; specifically, three of six P&DCs and one of 10 delivery units did not complete required checklists, certifications, and postmarking in accordance with policy. Additionally, we found the Postal Service was able to measure service performance for 83.3 percent of identifiable ballots. While the Postal Service has made progress reducing the number of ballots excluded from service measurement, it is important that it continues to identify root causes of ballots excluded from measurement.
Source: USPS OIG