November 14, 2012
Voter’s pamphlet needs rethinking
The expense of the mass-mailed Voter’s Pamphlet surely outweighs the service it provides, especially in this day and age.
For one, most of the candidates who submit statements for the guides have nothing substantive to say; their messages have been sanitized to the point of being little more than feel-good propaganda.
We’re not suggesting the Voter’s Pamphlet not be printed. Candidate biographies should still be offered, but two positions per page would save a lot of pages. The complete text of ballot issues is essential. But the guide need not be sent to every household.
The guide is already available online, allowing review of the issues and races either from home or at library computers.
For those who prefer having a booklet to study as they fill out their ballots, an option would be to send out voter guides on request.
Copies of the Voter’s Pamphlet should be available at libraries, city halls, schools, senior centers and other public places — as they are now.
A postcard should be sent to voters to remind them of websites where the information is available and locations where printed issues can be picked up.
Change ballot deadline
As the 2012 election winds down, there is a chorus calling for mail-in ballots to be due on Election Day, not sent on Election Day. The chorus is right.
Ballots are already sent with ample time for voters to return them by the election.
Procrastinators will simply need to get their votes in the mail a couple of days earlier, or take them to the nearest ballot box.
The water-torture drip of results in the week or more after the election needlessly prolongs the results. Florida actually finished counting their ballots before Washington state. We can do better.