ElectionBuddy can send postal notices to voters without electronic contact information. The postal notice is in the form of a postcard and contains all the same information that an electronic notice would contain: vote details, voting instructions, and an access link.
This postcard can also contain an optional QR code, which voters can scan to be taken directly to the ballot. Alternatively, typing the access link into a web browser's URL bar will take voters to a screen that will prompt them to enter their access key. You will have to provide the voters' mailing addresses in your voter list.
Postal notices are a feature available to elections in the professional pricing tier. Please see our pricing page for more information on the pricing of features. There is also an additional cost for postage - please contact us with the number of voters on your voter list and we can quote you a price!
Setting Up Postal Notices
In stage 3 of your vote setup, the "Notice" stage, select "Postal notices" from the list of available notice types, as well as any other notice types you may need:
There are several optional items that appear after you select "Postal notices". They do the following things:
Include a QR code: the postal notices will include a QR code that can be scanned by a smartphone (i.e. iPhone, Android, etc.). Scanning the QR code will authenticate the voter and take them to their ballot in one quick step. Unsure of what a QR code is? Check out Wikipedia!
Delay delivery: you can delay the postal ballot delivery for up to a certain number of days. This delay determines how many days ElectionBuddy waits before sending the voter notice information to our printing company, and is useful if running a multi-channel vote (i.e. you're notifying voters to vote in a combination of methods).
If a voter votes electronically before the delay is over, and no longer needs to receive a postal notice, they are removed from the list of voters whose data will be sent to our printing company.
This saves you money on postage, as your credit card will be refunded for any postal notices that do not need to be sent out.
However, once that delay is over and the information is sent to the printing company, you will be charged for all postcards that were sent to the printer, even if a voter does not use the mailed notice specifically to vote.
Include a return address: the postal notices will include a return address (typically your organization's mailing address) so notices are returned to you if the voter has moved to help prevent unauthorized ballot submissions from individuals outside of your organization. Return addresses must be within the USA.
If you choose to include a paper ballot, the return address is mandatory (as displayed in the screenshot above). This is because your voters will need to return the paper ballot.
Include a paper ballot: the postal notices will include a paper ballot that voters can return to vote via paper, as opposed to using the online ballot. Finish setting up your notices and edit your templates as required, and move on to the next stage of your vote setup, the "Voters" stage.
Your voter list will require mailing addresses for voters that are receiving postal notices.
Some things to consider: Postal notices are less effective the shorter your vote duration is. They take time to reach your voters, whereas an electronic notification method is much more instantaneous. If your vote is only running for a few days or even a few weeks, you will not be allowing enough time for your voters to receive their notice and take the time to vote. As a general recommendation, whenever possible, utilize a multi-channel strategy if you would like to notify your voters via mail.
ElectionBuddy's mailing provider will only send notices based on USPS deliverability. If an address comes back as undeliverable, this is either because USPS doesn't recognize it as an address at all or because USPS recognizes it as an address but can't deliver there.
Testing Postal Notices
When running a test vote with postal notices, your postcards will not be mailed. Once the test is running, you can preview your postal notice in the voters tab of the Results page by selecting a voter and choosing "Preview Mail":
A window will open after a few moments:
Selecting the link will open a PDF of your postcard in a new tab.