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franklin county times

Mailbox campaign signs banned by law

By Staff
Melissa Cason
Officials with the Russellville Post Office are reminding residents that mailboxes should be used for the purpose of getting items from the U.S. Mail only.
Kelly Culpepper, customer service supervisor, said the purpose of a mailbox is to send and receive mail through the U.S. Post Service and that it is actually a violation of federal law for mailboxes to be used to distribute items such as brochures, catalogs, or fliers of any kind.
"We see a lot of Avon books and political fliers on the mailboxes," Culpepper said. "When our carriers see these items on attached to the mailboxes, they must take them down and bring them back to the post office."
Culpepper said that last week alone one route brought back 50 pieces of unauthorized items including fliers and brochures.
"Most people are not aware that the mailboxes cannot be used to for these purposes, but it is against the law to put a flier or brochure on or in the mailbox."
She added that leaving items for others' to pick up in the mailboxes is also against the law.
"Everybody does it but it is against the law," Culpepper said.
Mailboxes, regardless of size or shape, are actually federal property and should be used only to deliver and send items through the postal service.
"Another reason to not have items left in the mailboxes is that you don't want just anyone walking up to a mailbox that doesn't belong to them," she said.
"We are seeing a lot of mailbox vandalism and identity theft as a result of getting items out of the mailboxes."
Culpepper said it is against the law to vandalize a mailbox or to take items from a box not belonging to you.
"All of these laws are designed to protect the resident against vandalism and identity theft," she said.
Contact the nearest post office with any concerns about mailbox usage.