We are delighted to see that the Postal Service, on January 23, 2022, will be introducing new Service Type IDs (STID) for ballot mail and political mail. But not until January 23, 2022! Do not use them now! Do not use them in November, nor in December. When January 2022, comes around, that being the January of the year yet to begin, scratch the days off your wall calendar until it is the 23rd day of January. Then, you may use them. If you use them on your mail before January 23, 2022, bad things will happen. Very bad.
Have we made our point? Good.
The new STIDs were developed in cooperation of the industry through MTAC user groups and work groups, and they will offer a lot more versatility than the current version (which are still the ones you need to use should you have ballot or political mail today, it not yet being January 23, 2022.) The ballot STIDs will allow for a variety of Optional Endorsement choices, and different inbound ballot tracking, including mail inbound from citizens overseas.
The political mail STIDs will allow for opting in or out of tracking, ACS under several options, as well as Full-Service or Basic mail. It is basically all the options available to nonpolitical mail.
The Postal Service prefers mailers to mark their political and ballot mailings with these STIDs – ALTHOUGH NOT YET – so they can measure the volume of these kinds of mail and offer appropriate handling as an election approaches.
Now, for the confusing part:
The Postal Service identifies three (3) kinds of election-related mail:
- Ballot Mail is any official ballot mailed to or from authorized election officials. Ballots only.
- Political Mail is mail supporting a candidate, campaign committee, or a political message from any organization trying to influence or drive voter mobilization.
- Other Election Mail is other mail sent to or from election officials (voter reg forms, voting guides, sample ballots and the like) that is not an official ballot.
With us so far? Good.
- Ballot Mail will use the STIDs designated specifically for Ballot Mail (BUT NOT YET!)
- Political Mail will use the STIDs specifically designated for Political Mail (BUT NOT YET!)
- Other Election Mail will just use ordinary mail STIDs, not designated Ballot or Political. You can use those today. It’s OK with us.
Want to know what the new STIDs are? Not gonna tell you. You can’t use them until January 23, 2022, anyway. Go ahead and mark your calendar, and then go occupy yourself with something else in the meantime. We’ll let you know in plenty of time.
Questions. Contact us and we’ll talk.