Archive for Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Many mail-in ballots lack proper postage

Post office workers are starting to see more advance ballots without the correct amount of postage.

October 21, 2008


U.S. Postal Service workers in Lawrence are starting to notice several mail-in advance ballots do not have enough postage.

The ballots in the large brown envelopes require $1 worth of postage, although about a quarter of those going through the downtown Lawrence post office either have no postage at all or only two stamps, 84 cents, said Lawrence Postmaster Judy Raney.

But postal workers are required to send the ballots anyway. The taxpayer-funded county clerk's office must cover the rest of the cost.

Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew said his staff has seen several ballots with only 84 cents in postage on them. Shew budgets for the expense, which can be in the "thousands of dollars," he said.

Raney said if voters have questions about their mail-in advance ballots before the Nov. 4 election, they can get their envelopes weighed at any area post office.

Voters have until 5 p.m. Oct. 31 to request a mail-in advance ballot from the clerk's office at this site. The election office must receive the ballot before 7 p.m. on Nov. 4.


triplegoddess13 9 years, 7 months ago

And the purpose of it being MAIL IN is so you don't have to do anything but mail it in. No trips to the store. No trips to the post office. No calling a friend to have it hand delivered to the ballot box for you. Obviously the simplicity of being out of state, out of country, or just plain unable to get to the polls (for whatever reason) is no longer simple to some people.

terrapin2 9 years, 7 months ago

dweezil dee dweezil dum,Apparently you haven't been to the post office lately! At the downtown USPS there is a self-service machine in the lobby that you can weigh your mail on or you can take it inside to the walk-up counter and ASK them to weigh it for you!!! Quit making excuses for people who aren't intelligent enough to put postage on something they expect to be delivered by the USPS!

monkeyhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Form AV10 - which accompanies the ballot seems to be quite comprehensive, with the exception of how much postage to place on the envelope. Since this is a form prepared by Ron Thornburgh, as prescribed by the state of Kansas, why isn't the state picking up the additional costs?

kmat 9 years, 7 months ago

My god people! It's called a pocket scale and they cost like $2-3. I would especially think that if someone is unable for whatever reason to easily go to the post office because of a disabilty or age, they would then have one of these scales since not every piece of mail will need one stamp. My parents gave me one when moved out back in the 80's because it's a common item that one should have (or I guess older, self reliant folks like my parents think that someone with common sense should own a basic postage scale).Not only elderly do mail in ballots. My husband is voting this way so he doesn't have to stand in line. And if someone is elderly and can't easily get to the post office or store, doesn't someone get them groceries and assist them? If not, I think they would have starved by now.Yes, it would be nice if they could have included something with the ballot that says the envelope will need additional postage, but I would also think if you are considered intelligent enough to vote, you'd be intelligent enough to know that a large envelope will require extra postage too.I can't believe this is what people want to argue about on here. Good grief.

Compy 9 years, 7 months ago

"Place Stamp Here" does NOT equal "Affix Proper Postage".Goverment error, government $Wait, that's our money, they don't care how they waste it.

terrapin2 9 years, 7 months ago

Lynn,As an adult one would assume that you know enough to weigh your friggin' mail and affix the correct amount of postage to ensure its delivery! DUH!!!Thank you, Terrapin2

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 9 years, 7 months ago

Then why, instead of printing place stamp here on the envelope, don't you print $ 1 postage required. That might help alleviate the problem? Very few people know the correct postage. You make them go to a post office to find out. Just print the correct postage on the envelope, DUH! Thank you, Lynn

sdinges 9 years, 7 months ago

People putting the wrong postage on the envelopes are likely assuming they -are- putting the correct postage on. Have you considered that many people who vote in advance like this are people who cannot easily make it to the ballot box in November - not to mention the post office? Many of them are older people, who haven't heard or cannot keep track of proper postage because it changes so often.Printing the postage required on the envelope would solve the problem of wrong postage, but unfortunately it won't solve whatever Terrapin's problem is.

Deja Coffin 9 years, 7 months ago

Looks like A.C.O.R.N. needs donations for stamps.

flux 9 years, 7 months ago

I dont have the time to weigh my freeking mail.

avetaysmom 9 years, 7 months ago

My mother is diabled and if it wasn't for me making sure her ballot was sent (with correct postage) then she would have sent hers in with the wrong postage to. So I don't think people are "lazy" about getting it weighed but some just can't get to a post office, and when it comes to the elderly having to mail it, then I can see why so many have come through the post office with the wrong postage. Problem now is you will get those people that will read this article and know they can send it with the wrong postage or no postage at all and it will still be sent!

dweezil222 9 years, 7 months ago

terrapin2 (Anonymous) says: Lynn,As an adult one would assume that you know enough to weigh your friggin' mail and affix the correct amount of postage to ensure its delivery! DUH!!!Thank you, Terrapin2==========================Um, how many people just happen to have a scale delicate enough to weigh mail laying around? Drug dealers maybe.

triplegoddess13 9 years, 7 months ago

And what if you don't have the time to go to the post office and just want to drop it in a mail box?

MeAndFannieLou 9 years, 7 months ago

I mailed my ballot in on Monday. I didn't know what the correct postage was, so I looked up the county clerk's phone number, dialed it, and asked the person who answered the phone. Duh. Still, since they know the correct postage, it wouldn't be that big a deal to put it on the envelope.I didn't have a $1 stamp, so I put three 42-cent stamps on it. Figured my vote was worth an extra quarter.

terrapin2 9 years, 7 months ago

Flux and others,I guess your vote isn't worth much to you if you think it's too much trouble to weigh your damn mail-in ballot! Are you all really that lazy? Do you not mail other envelopes that exceed the weight limit for a 1st class stamp and wonder how much postage you will need???For those folks who have limited mobility they can take their mail-in ballot to their local grocery store and have the customer service staff weigh it on their postal scale! It's not like the downtown post office is the only place you can mail in your ballot!

Shane Garrett 9 years, 7 months ago

A pocket Scale? Oh, I can be used to weigh mail? hmm, Not what the cops thought.

Boeing 9 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, I definitely sent mine in with only 2 stamps on it...sorry Douglas County. Put it on my tab. I don't have a scale laying around, my middle name isn't FedEx, so sue me. Nor do I have time to find a scale just to weigh an envelope...and if you say my vote isn't worth much to me because of that, you have some serious issues...Put the amount needed on the envelope and get it over with. Or include it in the letter that came with the ballot. This isn't a hard issue to overcome...seems more like oversight.

day 9 years, 7 months ago

It isn't as easy as you think to pre print the required postage amount on the envelope. If the piece weight varies by community, due to local ballot measures, then the required postage will as well.

jaded 9 years, 6 months ago

If your mother is disabled why doesn't she request an application for a permanent advance application. When the County Clerk's office mails the permanent advance out they put the return postage on the envelope.

Dawn Shew 9 years, 6 months ago

The reason the cost of postage is not printed on the "freaking" ballot is that postage changes cost about every fifty-four seconds. Each time postal rates change, the Clerk's office has to trash THOUSANDS of useless envelopes, wasting both financial and ecological resources.

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