Voter’s pamphlet needs rethinking
November 14, 2012
The expense of the mass-mailed Voter’s Pamphlet surely outweighs the service it provides to democracy, especially in this day and age.
For one, most of the candidates who submit statements for the guides have nothing substantive to say. For fear of offending voters, their messages have been sanitized to the point of being little more than a picture and some feel-good pablum.
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 are essential. But let’s not send the guide to every household.
The guide is already available online, which affords most people the opportunity to review the issues and races important to them 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.
Instead of a printed guide, send a postcard to voters to remind them of websites where the information is available and locations where printed issues can be picked up.