Don't Ask Don't Tell mail-in ballot postage snafu

It’s a classic government “don’t ask, don’t tell” situation where the only written Registrar’s guidance tells you to use “required postage” on your mail-in ballot and the official USPO election mailing guide for 2016 states that all election mail will be picked up and delivered to the registrar only if the registrar has a “postage due account.” 

 

But if you call the SF or Oakland USPO mail processing departments or the Alameda County Registrar of Voters you will be told something very different.   They will tell you that regardless of postage, your mailed-in ballot will be picked up and delivered to the registrar because of the high importance of voting. The Registrar’s office will tell you the insufficient postage will be “taken care of.”  The Post Office personnel can read you last week's internal memo saying just that but can't give out a copy because it's marked for internal use only.

The Alameda County Registrar personnel can’t tell you how much postage because of the variations in weight between districts in Alameda County and don’t provide a table with that info.  Today I spoke to someone there who told me “one or two first class stamps.”  Then he admitted he was assuming it was the same as his county where the envelopes came pre-printed with “requires one first class stamp.”

 

 

Bottom line:

Don't spend time getting postage when you could be studying the ballot and researching the candidates at www.VotersEdge.org

  •  If you have three first class stamps, stick them on your ballot. Sign the envelope, and place in mailbox. You'll be overpaying.
  • If you only have one or two first class stamps, stick them on your ballot. Sign the envelope, and place in mailbox. Your postage will be insufficient but the Post Office will deliver your ballot without delay. The Registrar will be billed for the difference.
  • if you don't have any stamps, just sign the envelope, and place in mailbox. The Post Office will deliver your ballot without delay. The Registrar will be billed for the full postage due.