Clerk Division Initiates National Dispute on USPS Failure to Allow/Display Voter Registration Forms in Post Offices

Lamont Brooks

November 7, 2022

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The issues and facts involved in this dispute are as follows:

The practice of allowing access to blank voter-registration cards at Unites States Postal Service (USPS) locations is long-standing, in accordance with 52 U.S.C. Code 20506 and many individual state election codes. 

Voter registration applications can be displayed in the lobbies of all postal facilities, or at least available upon request by postal customers, depending on space availability in each postal facility.

As government offices, USPS locations should have blank voter registration application forms readily available for community members, at all times, and allow non-partisan volunteers to donate blank applications to USPS locations, as needed.

Voter registration form displays have routinely been approved by postmasters and installation heads.

The  forms are covered under election mail, not political mail, meaning it is nonpartisan, serving as binding the country in authorizing universal service. Post offices are in over 31,000 locations all over the country, rural or urban, and are accessible to everyone in the United States. This is one of many reasons for the importance of maintaining retail post office locations throughout the country.

Many citizens don’t have access to public libraries or government buildings, while post offices allow voters to easily obtain voter registration forms, allowing them to vote by mail or in-person, and to complete the change of address form to update their registration.

Postal Service Agrees to Voter Registration Forms in Post Offices

Published September 22, 2020, officials at the USPS told members of Congress in Texas that voting groups are allowed to leave voter registration and absentee ballot applications in post offices.

"To resolve any confusion on this topic, the Postal Service is issuing clarifying internal guidance," Cory Brown, a government relations representative with USPS said in a letter to lawmakers.

"Such guidance will provide that, effective immediately ... postmasters or installation heads are authorized to allow the placement of voter registration forms and absentee ballot request forms in the Post Office Box lobbies of retail facilities, provided there is adequate space available for such materials,” Brown wrote.

Earlier this month, Houston-area Democratic Reps. Sylvia Garcia and Al Green wrote to USPS officials raising concerns about what League volunteers experienced.

Postal Service officials said they "will immediately relay this new guidance to district managers and will follow up with written communication to postmasters and installation heads."

The Postal Service maintains the largest physical and logistical infrastructure of any non-military government institution, providing an indispensable foundation supporting an ever-changing and evolving nationwide communication network.

Today, the Postal Service is part of the fabric of this nation. We deliver more mail and packages than any other postal service in the world. We serve more than 163 million addresses in this country — covering every state, city, and town. Everyone living in the United States and its territories has access to postal products and services, and pays the same for a First-Class Mail postage stamp, regardless of location. We make the connections. Friends and families. Businesses and customers. We deliver to every community in America, from the biggest cities to the smallest villages. This is our public service mandate — to bind the nation together. This is our commitment — to provide secure, reliable, affordable delivery of mail and packages. It’s what we do! Always have. Always will.

The Union requests that the Postal Service abide by the law, and comply with the Postal Service’s mission of binding the country together to service the public by maintaining all retail post offices, allowing retail clerks to display voter registration cards in the lobby and to revise postal handbooks and manuals to reflect the revision as they stated they would do in September 2020.

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