The alphabet-busting roster of San Francisco ballot propositions voters will decide on November 8 have made for a massive information pamphlet, the booklet every registered voter will receive by mail in advance of the election...unless, as hoped by SF's Department of Elections, you get on the ball today and opt to read the document online instead.
This year's 300-plus-page voter information booklet (if you can call anything that's 300 pages long a "booklet") is "one of the largest pamphlets ever produced" in San Francisco, Department of Elections Director John Arntz says.
The pamphlet, for those of you who don't still have the copy of the last election's by your toilet, contains the legally-required "candidate statements, legal text of local ballot measures, and ballot arguments in favor of and against each measure," Arntz says. While earlier this summer San Francisco's Board of Supervisors managed to narrow the local measure count down from 40, the document is still incredibly long — and that's not even counting the California State voter info packet, which the Chron reports is a separate 224 page document.
San Francisco's .925 lb tome will go to every one of the city's 471,123 registered voters, unless they opt out in favor of reading the information online. So far, about 5,865 voters have done just that — but the deadline to decline the paper version is today, so if you want out, act fast by opting out online here or by calling 415-554-4375.
Of course, there's one party displeased by the push to take the pamphlet online: The United States Postal Service. When contacted by the Chron regarding the DoE's encouragement to opt out of the paper version, USPS spokesperson Augustine Ruiz sniped that “We are no different from any other business where a drop in business, in this case mail, is a drop in revenue. And no business would find this very pleasing.”
When asked if the heavy manuals might be an undue burden on postal workers, Ruiz was equally dismissive, saying that “Our carriers are accustomed to heavy loads ... (and) wouldn’t have an issue with delivering it.” (Tell that to the mail carriers on my route, who complain to me — at great length — when my multitudes of September fashion magazines arrive.)
For those OK with depriving the USPS of business, Arntz says that instead of the booklet, you'll get "a link via email in early October to view the pamphlet on sfelections.org." But opt out sooner rather than later, as if you fail to decline the print version by the end of today, your mail carrier will be HAPPILY delivering that big-ass book to you next month.