The U.S. Post Office Is Open on Election Day, as Are Most Retailers and Businesses

Elections happen regularly in the U.S., and many are wondering whether the U.S. Post Office is open on days when elections are being held.


Nov. 7 2023, Published 9:50 a.m. ET

A person submitting a ballot into a ballot box.
Source: Getty Images

The Gist:

  • Elections happen at least once a year in the U.S., but the U.S. Post Office is always open on Election Day, as are UPS and FedEx.
  • Election Day isn't a national holiday, which means that most businesses are open.
  • Some voting rights advocates want to change that so voters have more time to exercise their rights during the day.
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At least once a year, major elections are held across the country. Usually, those elections are held in November, and voters go out to the polls to vote on everything from who will represent them at the local, state, and federal level to new laws that have been proposed and are on the ballot.

Given that elections are a regular occurrence in the U.S., it's only natural for many people to be curious about what's open and what isn't on Election Day. Since the U.S. Post Office is also a federal institution, many naturally wonder whether post offices are closed on Election Day.

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A person standing in front of a voting booth.
Source: Getty Images

Is the U.S. Post Office closed on Election Day?

The U.S. Post Office is always open on Election Day. That remains true no matter what's on the ballot. So even in presidential years, the U.S. Post Office still accepts mail and you should still receive mail as well. Nothing changes for postal workers on Election Day, which might seem slightly surprising given the importance the U.S. sometimes places on elections and their outcomes.

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In addition to the Post Office, FedEx and UPS also continue to take packages and make deliveries on Election Day. In short, you can continue to send or receive packages and mail on Election Day, even though you should also take some time to go vote.

Election Day isn't a national holiday.

Although elections are an important part of what makes the U.S. function, Election Day isn't a national holiday. In fact, Election Day happens in the middle of what are most people's work week, which is part of the reason so many people in the U.S. see voting as a hassle. Many have to take time out of their day either before or after work to vote, and that's time they could be spending on something else important to them.

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Because Election Day isn't a national holiday, the U.S. actually has relatively low voter turnout compared to other democracies. Of 49 countries surveyed by Pew, the U.S. ranks 31st in average voter turnout for national elections.

One of the simplest ways to boost turnout, according to some voting rights advocates, is to make Election Day a national holiday, which would give more people the time they need to vote.

In a 2018 Pew Research survey, the idea of making Election Day a holiday received bipartisan support, with 71 percent of Democrats supporting it and 59 percent of Republicans. Unfortunately, the idea still hasn't made its way into the law, but advocates still believe that it could at some point.

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