Here’s some advice I was reminded of this morning that’s very important to know for any local election candidate who plans on doing lots of door-to-door political campaigning. If you’re leaving campaign literature, fliers, brochures or door cards at people’s houses, make sure your stuff doesn’t come in contact with the mailbox in any way.
Most people don’t know this, but the United States Post Office is allowed to fine you if you leave any kind of correspondence inside a mailbox–or even touching a mailbox–that you haven’t paid for postage on.
I found this out the hard way last year during my first campaign for city council. I was under the impression that the law only stated that you couldn’t put campaign literature inside the mailboxes, so I made a habit of sliding my door cards in between the mailboxes and the house.
This apparently ticked off a particular letter carrier, who yanked all of my literature on his route, threw it away and filed a report with the USPS. I ended up having to pay a fine that was north of a hundred bucks.
In most cases, placing your political campaign literature on the outside of a mailbox won’t get you into hot water with the United States Post Office, but all it takes is one mailman who’s having a bad day to decide he’s going to report you. It’s better to just keep your fliers far away from mailboxes and put them in the voter’s door, or under the doormat.