Saturday, April 07, 2012

Public service announcement for my San Francisco friends

You don't have to receive those bulky, ugly, newsprint election "pamphlets" in the snail mail! Go to this San Francisco Department of Elections link and you can sign up to get your election materials over the 'net.

For my friends from elsewhere: these election books are one of California's growth industries. We have a lot of elections. Most of these include a lot of politician- and voter-proposed initiatives and referendums. (Hey, I'm working for one right now. They are not all bad.) Spokespeople, for and against, get to weigh in on these measures in the election book -- and I do mean "weigh" -- these things can run over 100 pages. They also have to include the full text of any proposed law.

There comes a time when transparency becomes just junk mail. Many of us have got to the point that we view the arrival of the election books as akin to the arrival of telephone directories -- just waste paper, to be carried straight to the recycle bin.

I'll opine that sending the books online may reduce their influence (if they still have any.) It may make us voters more dependent on "news" media and ads than we already are. But it has got to be good for the trees, even if bad for the post office!

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