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VERIFY: No, the Post Office did not triple the cost states pay to mail election ballots

All kinds of claims about voting by mail are circulating online ahead of the election. That’s why the Verify team is here to sort out what’s real from what’s fake.

WASHINGTON — QUESTION:

Did the Post Office triple the cost states pay to mail ballots?

ANSWER:

No.

SOURCE:

The U.S. Postal Service

PROCESS:

Tweets are circulating claiming the United States Postal Service told states they’ll have to pay $.55 postage, not the $.20 bulk rate to mail ballots.

Our source is the U.S. Postal Service and its 2020 State and Local Election Mail User’s Guide.

The Post Office says each state determines the class of mail for mail in ballots and delivery times are based on the class of service.

The agency says First class mail cost more, gets a higher priority and takes 2-5 days.

Bulk or marketing mail class cost about a third less, gets a lower priority and takes three to 10 days.

The Post Office told our Verify team, “There are no pending changes to the rates and classes of mail impacting ballots.”

Here’s where some of the confusion may have come in.

The Post Office is suggesting election officials use the more expensive class of service with a shorter delivery time window to make sure ballots get to voters on time, but again, there was no change in the rates. 

So, we can verify, false, the Post office is not planning on increasing the cost of mailing ballots.

But they did suggest states might want to use the more expensive service.

The USPS recommends voters put their ballots in the mail at least one week before their state’s deadline. 

However, the postal service does recommend requesting your mail-in ballot at least 15 days before election day. That would give state or local election officials one week to deliver your ballot to you and another week for you to send it back.