2006/11/07

With Every California Election A Forest Dies

Well I've just voted, and don't that just make me feel grand? Not really. Unlike other states where I've lived, the California election process is study in boredom, frustration, and too much democracy. I've blogged on that last topic before. So now let me tackle another topic: The fact that our elections are so goddamned wasteful that the mind boggles.

Do you know how many of those deceptive little campaign leaflets the Frogette and I received? 68...in three weeks. I counted them. Add to that three, 200 page voter guides all mandated by the state, and you've got a massive amount of waste. "How much waste?" you ask. Well let's see. San Francisco has about 480,000 registered voters...

SourceAmount
San Francisco Voter Guides
(7.2 lbs of paper / voter by 480,000 voters)
= 3,456,000 lbs
California Voter Guides
(7.2 lbs of paper / household by 160,000 households)
= 1,152,000 lbs
Campaign Leaflets
(3.3 lbs of paper / household by 160,000 households)
= 528,000 lbs.
Total Pounds of Paper= 5,136,000
Tons of Paper= 2568
Trees Consumed
(24 trees / ton of paper)
= 61632

And that's just for the City of San Francisco! What about the whole state?! What about the fact that we do this EVERY SINGLE YEAR?!

We've got to be able to do better than this.

10 Comments:

Come to New York, you get your registration confirmation in the mail, along with your polling place location, the day comes and you walk down a few blocks, go in the firehouse, flick the switches and pull the lever...and your down. No power outages or electronic voting errors. Why fix what's not broken?
*done
I don't know what to think about that... ick. That's WAY too many trees.

As long as some of the paper products are electronic ballot RECEIPTS, or they are paper ballots, I think we can find ways to manage forests efficiently as a renewable resource.

For that matter, why in hell don't we grow hemp for paper, among other things? Maybe because William Randolph Hearst was too tied in with timber interests and knew that hemp would provide competition... so a campaign of demonizing it might be in order?

Check this out:

http://www.luxefaire.com/hemp.htm

Sure, it might all sound like a conspiracy theory, but I'd be willing to bet... wait... do I hear the sound of approaching helicopters? AIEEEEE!!!

Whatever... but it should be obvious that there are lots of better ways to educate voters and to make paper (among many other things) than to cut down huge amounts of trees.
That's a lotta trees & paper, sure. BUT!!! having recently moved from CA to UT I miss getting all that info. Here you get nothing, you're on your own to try & find out any info you can about candidates & issues (though I suspect the long-time residents merely let their church do their thinking).

Utah Websites? hahaha, none for local races, lucky if they publish an email. No real forums in the newspaper or local tv either. I'm surprised sirens & redlights didn't start flashing when I hit the pristine "dem" spot on the touchscreen.

In states that are more interested in their electorate, to save some paper, a little postcard could be sent to each address giving official website info for ea candidate & issue. And a return portion to mail back if you prefer to receive actual paper info.

ps, I'm so excited ... I got a "robocall" last night! Kind of like my first obscene ph call, it allowed me to do a loud raspberry & hang up! ~~ D.K.
Fred... Texas was much the same. No ballot initiatives (at least when I lived there) and the electro-mechanical "lever" machines. Here in Babylon by the Bay, the optical-scan machines work fine. It's the all the initiative crap that's the problem.

Sname, hemp would be cool, but I'd prefer just less wasted resources of all kinds. One of our probems is that for every initiative there is a commentary section where people get to pay for pro and con arguments. That's what explodes our voter guides up to 200 pages.

D.K., you miss this? Oh please move back so you can puzzle the stuff out on my behalf! And about that Robocall...did you record it?!
I was thinking that yesterday...I didn't count them but there were lots. I will next time. We only received 1 200 page voter guide at least.
Kvatch, don't get me wrong. I do NOT miss those messy propositions (what're you up to now, 100 per election?). I miss the easy access to info on local candidates. Re: Robocall, alas, not recorded! But after verifying I was hearing what I thought, I grabbed husband to come listen, do I do have a witness. We actually have a dem rep in So Utah, though he calls himself "a proud blue-dog democrat". Ah well, Pelosi's on tv now. Hannity's probably crapping red bricks about now. ~~ D.K.
Santorum is GONE!

Buh-bye!

I am so happy!

The tide is moving!
Sumo, yeah it's that damn SF guide! One per voter...what can they be thinking?

D.K., what's a "Blue Dog Democrat?" I've heard of Yellow Dog Democrats, but blue dog?

Gary, and Senator Mordor didn't just lose. He got his ass kicked! How cool is that?
Re: Blue Dog Dem ... apparently, it's a group of 37 congressional reps who banded together as "conservative democrats" in 1994. I dunno, seems to me rather than change parties, they decided to remain dem, but mostly vote repub. There's a list of them online, look at Wikipedia-Blue Dog Democrat. They've even got a logo. Kinda riding a wave right now, so guess we should be glad they didn't change parties. ~~ D.K.

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