Conducting an election involving postal voting? We’re here to help. At Royal Mail, we have a dedicated Postal Voting team so that when the time comes, you’ll have one of our people to guide you through the detail of what’s involved. They’ll:
- meet you in person, if you wish
- discuss the process and help you plan
- schedule your requirements into our operation.
In the run up to an election Royal Mail will set up a dedicated election team, who will contact you to discuss tailoring your election service to your exact needs. You will be provided with a local contact who could visit you and plan in your requirements and a dedicated Election Support team at Doxford will be on hand during the election to deal with any problems or issues you may have straight away. During the election period the elections helpline number is operable 24/7 so there will always be someone there to help in an out of hours emergency.
We will work in partnership and plan this element of your election every step of the way.
You’ll need to involve us in your election programme planning at least 12 weeks in advance of go live and we’ll work with you to discuss your specific postal requirements. It’s all set out in our postal voting best practice guide.
You can choose from a number of options that include pre-sortation of your returns over the duration of your election programme; and having your election returns separated from day-to-day mail.
Postal voting works with our response services Business Reply Plus and Freepost Plus.
Here are our postal voting products in brief:
Single sortation selection will provide your election returns in a separated bundle(s) from your normal day-to-day mail over the duration of your programme. Multiple selections will provide your election return in a specified sortation of more than one selection, for example by ward or department.
Timed Delivery or Collection
If you choose more than one sortation selection this will feature an agreed dedicated time for delivery or agreed time for you to collect the sorted items. Timed delivery or the agreed collection time may be later if you choose a Saturday.
Polling Day Sweep
The Polling Day sweep will take place at agreed Mail Centre(s), and at agreed times delivery or collection of the extracted postal votes is available. The Secondary Mail Centre sweep service is a collection-only sweep service. Handover arrangements must be carefully managed to ensure delivery or collection is made prior to the close of poll. It is recommended that a small amount of contingency be allowed when planning handover times.
The Postal Voting Response Licence
Business Reply Plus requires that the corresponding licence number for each address is printed directly on the outer envelope. This product may be more appropriate where you wish to receive all of their returns in one batch each day and no additional sortation is required prior to delivery.
Freepost Plus is the ideal way to take advantage of Royal Mail’s Ward sortation capabilities.
With Freepost Plus, the licence number is printed as part of the address and can be displayed through a window if required. This means variable information being printed on the insert or directly onto the outer envelope later in the production process.
If you haven’t chosen a pre-sort delivery, election responses won’t be separated but returned with your normal day-to-day mail. You can, however, talk to your local Royal Mail contact about the best options for a mutually-agreed Timed Delivery over the course of your programme.
Get prepared using our postal voting best practice guide. This Postal Voting calculator will also help you work out your costs.
How much notice do we need to give?
Elections campaigns must be planned with Royal Mail at least 12 weeks in advance.Back to top
Can we use our current Freepost Plus or Business Reply Plus envelope design?
No, an adapted 1st Class Freepost Plus or Business Reply Plus envelope design, identified by unique purple flashes, is used.Back to top
Do you provide unique licence numbers?
We will supply you with a number of unique Response Plus licences and associated addresses to use for the Postal Voting product you buy.Back to top
*Calls may be recorded and monitored for training and compliance purposes. Calls cost 5p per minute plus your telephone company's network access charge.
How to buy
The price you pay will be different for each election programme you undertake - and it will vary according to which service choices you make. You can estimate your expenditure using our Postal Voting calculator.
You can buy postal voting services through your credit account. Speak to your Royal Mail account manager to find out how. You can also call our support centre on 08456 564 998*.