U.S. Postal Service Continues to Deliver a Record Number of Ballots

122 Million Ballots Processed and Delivered Amid Historic Political and Election Mail Volume; Extraordinary Measures Underway to Deliver Ballots Currently in Mail System

WASHINGTON, DC — With less than one week until the November election, new U.S. Postal Service data show an exceedingly high-volume of mail moving through the system and a focus on delivery of ballots.

“With increased volume in both mail and packages and external challenges, mail is moving,” said Kristin Seaver, Chief Retail and Delivery Officer of the Postal Service. “The Postal Service continues to implement extraordinary measures to advance and expedite the delivery of the nation’s ballots. These efforts include extra pick-ups, extra deliveries, and delivery units running regular collections on Sunday. From today through Sunday, local carriers will be stopping at and checking every residential mailbox for outbound mail, including ballots.”

Key Facts

  • 2.5 Days Average Delivery Time. Since October 1, the average time of delivery for First-Class Mail, including ballots, was 2.5 days with 97.5 percent of all measured First-Class Mail delivered within five days across the country.
  • 4.5 Billion Political and Election Mail Mailpieces. Total mail volume surpassed 4.5 billion mailpieces for both Political Mail and Election Mail tracked, representing an increase of 114 percent compared to the 2016 election cycle.
  • 122 Million Ballots Processed and Delivered. Since Sept. 4, the Postal Service has processed and delivered more than 122 million ballots, including both blank ballots delivered from election officials to voters and completed ballots from voters to election officials.1

Due to an increase in overall mail volume of all types, COVID-19 impacts, the Oct. 12 federal holiday and ongoing efforts to prioritize and advance the nation’s ballots, First-Class Mail service performance was 80.85 percent for the week of Oct. 17 through Oct. 23.

“While our ongoing commitment is to maintain the highest level of service performance for all mail, we acknowledge that our full focus and prioritization on election ballots is having a near-term impact on the overall on-time performance of other products throughout the network,” continued Seaver. “Additionally, we are actively engaging with our management teams and union leadership to ensure we have the right level of staffing and oversight given the increased impacts of COVID-19, and our unwavering commitment to keeping employees and customers safe.”

“In the final push through the election, our entire team remains laser focused on advancing ballots to local boards and election officials as quickly as possible,” said Seaver.

1 Election ballot counts are measured by use of Intelligent Mail Barcode with Ballot identifier. If a ballot was entered without these identifiers it is not measured in the count. This information is provided for illustrative purposes to provide sense of scale of Election Mail volume the Postal Service has and continues to process and deliver this election season. Outbound ballots are defined as blank ballots delivered from election officials to voters and inbound ballots are defined as completed ballots delivered from voters to election officials.


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