With millions of Americans voting by mail in the 2018 midterm elections, the hunt for a stamp has replaced the “I Voted” sticker as a marker of the election.
But how many stamps do you need to mail in a ballot? Turns out, none at all. If you forget to put one on — or you don’t get the right amount of postage — your mail carrier will still deliver it.
The U.S. Postal Service’s official policy is to deliver all absentee and mail-in ballots, regardless of whether they have proper postage, according to spokeswoman Sue Brennan. If there’s no stamp or not enough postage, the Postal Service charges the local board of elections instead.
“Technically, sending mail requires postage,” Brennan told TIME in an email. “Voters should affix a stamp to their ballot. But, if they do not, the Postal Service will still deliver it and charge the postage to the appropriate office.”
That doesn’t apply if you’re sending your ballot from overseas or a non-Postal Service facility, where you’ll definitely need to attach the correct postage, however.
Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia allow no-excuse absentee ballots, while 20 states allow voters to request them if they have a reason. Washington, Oregon and Colorado vote entirely by mail. In 2012, more than 6 million domestic voters mailed in their ballots, while another 23 million sent them from overseas, including military bases.
Postal Service policy is that ballots “must never be returned” because of a lack of a stamp.
Some voters are also finding that putting just the right stamp on their ballot is one more way to express their feelings on the midterm elections.
One popular choice is Wonder Woman.
Another voter went for Mr. Rogers.
But pioneering astronaut Sally Ride also got a shout-out.
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