Postage rates for absentee ballots causing problems- and a solution

In yet another twist of Ohio’s ballot mess, we are sending out absentee ballots without having the postage paid.

Mind you, it’s not a problem for Congressman Mike Turner to frank his campaign literature (I mean congressional communications) and have us foot the bill.

Now, we’re sending ballots out- without a clear indication of how much the postage is to send them back in. Apparently, the piece wasn’t designed to mail at a standard 42-cent rate, but requires more.

This means, the post office may choose to try to return ballots (costly) or not deliver them (plum wrong and should be illegal).

Here is what the DDN reports:

In Montgomery County, the average two-page absentee ballot requires 59 cents in postage — more than the standard 42-cent first-class stamp for letters less than one ounce. Residents in two areas of the county, Moraine and Miamisburg, have three-page ballots that require 76 cents in postage.

On the other hand, many absentee voters are putting two 42-cent stamps on their envelopes, more than required, noted Montgomery County Board of Elections Director Steve Harsman. “The post office should be very happy because they are being overpaid on every one of those ballots,” he said.

Harsman also said that letter postage rates apply to the ballot envelopes in Montgomery County, not flat rates, which are more expensive. He said some post offices are mistakenly charging the higher flat rate.

Postage problems arise with absentee ballots.

I’m not a wealthy man, but, I’d like to arrange for a fund to settle up wtih the post office- allowing all ballots to be delivered to the BOE, with or without postage, and a guarantee that the final bill will be covered by counting the overs, the unders and then paying the difference plus a fee for the accounting process.

I’m willing to start the fund with $100 towards this goal. It would be nice if someone with means (or even mean Gene) to step forward and offer to back the rest of it.

Any takers? I’ll be contacting the Board of Elections and the Postmaster today to see if they are interested in working on the mechanics of this.

In the mean time, remember to place the proper postage on your absentee ballots.

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David EsratiJ.R. Locke Recent comment authors
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J.R. Locke

I just got mine in the mail yesterday and it will cost $1 in postage. Where are my franking privileges damnit!?!

David Esrati
David Esrati

I spoke to Betty Smith, Deputy Director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections and there will be a clarification public service announcement on this. She assured me that ALL ballots are being delivered to the BOE and that the post office is being made good.
Accepting money from private citizens would be an accounting nightmare according to her.
As usual, the Dayton Daily News has tried to make a crisis out of something that has been taken care of.
Please note- the BOE did work with the Post Office to make the mailing rates less- however, there seems to be confusion at the Post Office about what the rates should be now.
It’s time for the postmaster to speak up.