City Paper is not for tourists
About two weeks ago, the District’s Board of Election and Ethics sent a postcard to registered voters in the District of Columbia, informing them of all the different ways they could get their hands on a Presidential Preference Primary Voter’s Guide.
The card looked like this (click to enlarge):
Since then, the board’s come in for a bit of criticism. You see, four years ago, the board sent voter guides themselves out to all voters, whether they wanted them or not. LL does not have any hard data on their rate of usage, but he is going to go ahead and assume it’s pretty low. The guides are full of useful information on the rights of voters and election mechanics, but it also has a bunch of near-useless candidate statements (including one from a candidate names “Hilary Clinton.”)
I mean, really, what sentient American voter hasn’t heard a variation on this line from John Edwards about three dozen times in the past five years: “I’ll never forget where I come from. I grew up in a small town. My mother worked at the post office and my father at a mill. They worked hard every day to pass a better world on to me.”
This year, the board chose less costly means of delivery and sent out the cards, and since then, it has gotten reactions such as this one, from Ron Leve of Dupont Circle on “themail” e-newsletter:
Why is it that a government that can send fluff to all its constituents cannot mail a Voter’s Guide for the Presidential Primary to registered members of each of the three parties? I received a postcard giving a variety of options to obtain the booklet; not much more effort would have been required to mail the guide itself.
According to board spokesperson Bill O’Field, taxpayers are saving at least $25,000 on the deal. It’ll probably be substantially more, he says, once the costs of postage are figured in—-that depends on how many folks end up wanting guides sent out to them. So far, about 1,000 copies of the guide have been mailed out, O’Field says.
If you’re reading this blog, you can be looking at one of those babies in seconds.
Allow LL to weigh in on this one: Bravo, BOEE. This was a wise and well-calculated move on your part, and LL defies anyone to convince him otherwise. Please attempt to in the comments.