Post Office says political mail requires 7-10 days lead time

The U.S. Postal Service will not guarantee the delivery of political mailings unless they are dropped at the post office at least seven to ten days before Election Day, putting the future of last-minute political mailings in jeopardy.

That declaration came after local candidates in Linden, New Jersey complained that the Postal Service couldn’t traverse the 16 miles between their facility in Kearny and the local Post Office in under five days, with hundreds of mailers never making it to voters.

In the 2019 Linden school board race, a candidate who lost by just 243 votes filed a complaint alleging that about 570 of her direct mail pieces were returned to her doorstep three weeks later.

“We discovered that the mail was inducted into the mail stream on October 31, 2019, which was after the recommended entry date of October 24, 2019,” said Postal Service manager Kathi C. Roy in a letter obtained by the New Jersey Globe through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Roy said that while an investigation revealed that some of the Linden mail arrived at the local post office after the November 5 election, most of the of the 3,800-piece mailing did make it on time.  She acknowledged that the Kearny facility released the mail the day it was dropped.

“It’s almost as if four carrier route sacks of mail were either misplaces or carriers were not given their routes to be delivered,” said Evelio Velez, the president of Full Service Mailers, Inc., a Hackensack-based mail fulfillment center used by the Linden candidates.

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