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Candidates should pay postage on fliers placed in mailboxes

Walterboro Postmaster Douglas Mixson, Jr.

Two candidates running for Walterboro City Council seats have violated Federal laws by placing political campaign advertisements into mailboxes within the city without paying postage.

“Two candidates placed numerous fliers into mailboxes at various locations within city limits,” said Post Office Postmaster Douglas M. Mixson, Jr. “We occasionally see advertisers with services to offer making this same mistake.”

Mixson noted that the public has complained about people other than postal employees putting material into their mailboxes. “This can potentially be dangerous, because people don’t really know what is going into their mailboxes, and they also don’t know what may be taken out of those boxes.”

Postal regulations explicitly prohibit such said distribution to mailboxes. The Domestic Mail Manual provides specific instructions and regulations relative to customer mail receptacles. Section 508.3.1.3 states that mail receptacles may only be used for matter bearing postage.

This includes items or matter placed upon, supported by, attached to, hung from, or inserted into a mail receptacle. Any material that can be mailed without postage and found as described above, is subject to the same postage as would be paid if it were carried by mail. DMM Section 604.8.3 states that whoever knowingly and willfully deposits any (material), on which no postage is paid, in any letterbox established, approved, or accepted by the Postmaster General for the receipt or delivery of mail matter, with intent to avoid payment of lawful postage thereon, shall for each such offense be fined not more $5,000.00 per individual or $10,000.00 per organization (18 USC 1725, 3571).

Mixson pointed out that, if political candidates are interested in having the U. S. Postal Service place fliers into all mailboxes along certain routes, the agency offers a service called “Every Door Direct Mail,” which is very reasonably priced. “Now, anyone can mail items without having to get a bulk mailing permit. The cost is just 16 cents per piece, and can be generically addressed to ‘Postal Customer.’ This method is very inexpensive and is also very efficient.” He added that information concerning this procedure can be found at https://www.usps.com/business/every-door-direct-mail.htm. “If this service interests any of the candidates, I can gladly provide them with more information to assist in their efforts.”

Mixson also noted he would be glad to provide information to anyone else who is interested in this mailing service. “Any way that we can help out customers who want to spread information or news to a large area of the city or county, we would be glad to explain this procedure to them.”

Specifications for Every Door Direct- Retail Service are that patrons submit what they want mailed to the Post Office serving their area; keep their per-piece weight to 3.3 ounces or less; and use Standard Mail flats (see usps.com/everydoordirectmail). Up to 5,000 mail pieces can be sent per day.

Key benefits include the facts that no postage is required; no names or addresses are needed; and there is plenty of room for messages. Every Door Direct Mail offers a flexible range of sizes, making it ideal to announce sales, send coupons, and many other uses. Three of the most popular are postcards (6.5″ x 9″), oversized postcards (8.5″ x 11″), and tri-fold menus (4.25″ x 14″). Additional sizes are also available.

Rick Tobin, Editor (439 Posts)