All those political mailers are helping the U.S. Postal Service pay its bills

Posted at 12:16 PM, Nov 06, 2018

DENVER — Election Day doesn’t only mean the end of the political campaign season. It’s also the end of political ads. 

Those ads include thousands of pieces of political mailers that have been sent to homes around the state.

“The mail volume is up, and we know that across the board in just about every county throughout Colorado and in every race,” said David Rupert, the postal spokesperson for Colorado. 

While complaints about the mailers are common, they’re a welcomed part of the job for staff at the United States Postal Service.

More than 34 million pieces of political mailers were sent out in Colorado this season. And that doesn’t include the flyers from out of state.

“There’s traditional media, there’s digital media and then there is the postal service and that’s the printed thing,” Rupert said. “Every person gets postal delivery one way or the other so it’s a way to reach everybody.” 

All of these flyers are sent through the postal system using a permitting process, meaning the sender pays a flat fee to have them delivered without needing to put individual stamps on each piece of paper.

“The revenue is good for us and we appreciate that part of it,” Rupert said. “We have to pay our bills and we don’t get tax money and so every bit of this helps the bottom line.”

In recent years, mailers, catalogs and advertisements have been critical in helping USPS meet its bottom line as the number of people sending mail wanes.  

“Last year alone there were five billion fewer pieces of letter mail sent through the system,” Rupert said. 

Beyond that, he said he sees the service as an important component in the American electoral process.

“America is about freedom (and) the root of freedom is information and the ability to get a lot of information,” Rupert said. “We are helping deliver democracy and so we see ourselves as very much part of this electoral process and we are proud of that.”

The final number of political mailers sent out this season, and the revenue USPS earned from them, has not yet been released.