Tracking the mail

When constituents mail letters to their representatives in Congress, the letters follow a circuitous path with many stops before they are finally delivered to a congressional office. In the pilot, the length of time it takes is about five business days, but some have told the House Administration Committee that some mail arrives much later.

Here's the path mail takes:

A citizen mails a letter to a lawmaker in Washington, D.C.

The letter is held at a postal center and is then shipped to New Jersey.

The letter is then shipped to Capital Heights, Md., for additional security processing.

The letter is shipped to Leesburg, Va., where it is scanned and sent electronically to the appropriate House office.

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