Midterm elections

The Postal Service delivered 54.4 million ballots during last year’s midterm elections, with 98.96 percent delivered from voters to election officials within three days.

On average, completed ballots were delivered from voters to election officials in under two days.

The data, which covers the period from Sept. 6 through Dec. 6 — the date of the Georgia runoff election for U.S. Senate — is included in a post-election analysis report that USPS released this week.

“Once again, our entire Postal Service team has successfully delivered the nation’s ballots securely and on time,” said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. “We take great pride in the role our organization plays in the vote-by-mail process. The American people can continue to feel confident in using the U.S. Mail to fulfill their democratic duty.”

The USPS report also shows 99.82 percent of ballots sent by voters to election officials were delivered within five days, while 99.93 percent of ballots sent by voters to election officials were delivered within seven days.

“These results speak for themselves. The Postal Service has performed at a very high level as it has done since the late 1800s. The entire team — from the postmaster general, to the senior leadership team, to the 655,000 men and women of the Postal Service — is dedicated to ensuring excellence when it comes to delivering democracy and our nation’s Election Mail for the American people. And we will continue to look for opportunities to improve operational effectiveness of this critical service in future elections,” said Amber McReynolds, chair of the USPS Board of Governors Election Mail Committee.

The Postal Service’s role in the vote-by-mail process is to transport, process and deliver ballots to and from election officials and voters.

In July 2022, USPS announced the permanent formation of the Election and Government Mail Services Team to focus year-round on the timely and secure delivery of Election Mail, as interest in and use of vote-by-mail offerings continue to grow nationally.

The organization’s Jan. 9 news release has more information.

Share your feedback at uspslink@usps.gov. Your comments could be included in the “Mailbag” column.

USPSCA update

The Postal Service has begun closing inactive USPSCA accounts as it continues the process of shutting down the payment method on July 1.

USPSCA, also known as United States Postal Service Corporate Accounts, is used to pay Express Mail Corporate Accounts and Priority Mail Express Manifest Accounts.

The Postal Service is discontinuing USPSCA because of rising costs and declining demand.

USPSCA customers with active accounts are being encouraged to switch to a payment alternative, such as Click-N-Ship, Electronic Verification System, ePostage, PC Postage or meter.

Customers should contact their sales account representative, business service network representative or their local Post Office for assistance with switching accounts.

Customers who have USPSCA balances remaining can email the Mailing and Shipping Solutions Center (MSSC) at MSSC@usps.gov to request a refund.

The request should include signed authorization on letterhead, the USPSCA number, and the name and location of the business.

After USPSCA shuts down in July, accounts with negative balances will be sent for collection. Customers can email MSSC to arrange payments.

For additional information, email shippingservices@usps.gov.

Preventing user error

The Postal Service is reminding employees to remain vigilant when using the organization’s computer network, to reduce the possibility of costly user errors.

Several major companies have learned the hard way that user error, whether unintentional or the result of inaction, often contributes significantly to breaches in cybersecurity.

Verizon and IBM recently reported that user errors contributed to approximately 80 percent of their cybersecurity incidents, while auto manufacturer Renault-Nissan suffered a costly ransomware attack because of user error.

Similarly, Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting agencies, experienced a major data breach in 2017, when it failed to immediately patch a network vulnerability identified by its cybersecurity team.

To reduce the possibility of user error, the CyberSafe at USPS team encourages employees to foster a security culture by doing the following:

Review network users’ access to applications and systems periodically. Managers must ensure their employees’ permissions align with current roles. Access must be modified when the employee roles change or immediately terminated if separation occurs.

Ensure applications, software and devices are up to date. It’s critical to always download and install patches and security updates for information systems and devices.

Engage in CyberSafe learning opportunities. Cybersecurity training helps identify evolving cybersecurity risks to stop cyberthreats before they occur.

The CyberSafe at USPS Blue and LiteBlue pages have additional information.