Notes from the Canvass – The ‘No Junk Mail’ Issue

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From now until the end of May local election candidates will be delivering leaflets, newsletters and letters to homes all over Ireland. While the four weeks before election date is when the campaign enters its serious phase, any candidate that wants to stand a chance of being elected essentially needs a good nine months on the campaign trail. It is true that social media has revolutionized electioneering to a large extent. However the leaflet and the newsletter, apart from the canvass, is still the main means of communicating with the voters.

One issue that all candidates will have come across is the dilemma of the “no junk mail” signs on letter boxes. Understandably people are frustrated with having countless pieces of glossy paper coming through their doors. It is quite a problem and while it can be recycled I can understand people’s frustration. However the question is does election literature count as “junk”? On one hand this is unsolicited mail that has not been sought by households so it could be argued that it is effect junk. However election literature could also be considered as public information and not classed as junk.

Where a letter box has “No unsolicited mail” or “Letters to the addressee only” clearly election leaflets of any kind should not be dropped in as the resident is clearly saying they do not want anything that is not addressed directly to them.

One solution is to take a note of houses and apartments that have “no junk mail” signs and post the leaflet with a cover note. It is costly and time consuming but it gets your message across and respects all opinions on the issue of “junk mail”.

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