The Ballot’s in the Mail
Take note: if you are one of a growing number of Californians to vote by mail, you can expect to receive your ballots this week. County elections officials across California are mailing out ballots to officially get the June primary under way.
They used to be call “absentee ballots,” and there was a time when Californians could only vote by mail if they were traveling on Election Day or had a medical reason for not being able to go to the polls. Now we refer to them as “mail-in ballots” since so many voters take advantage of this option.
Although I still vote the old-fashioned way, there is something to say for the benefits of voting in your own home, on your own schedule. Obviously, increasing numbers of California voters agree. In the 2008 election, 41.6 percent of the state’s total votes were mail ballots. This figure is expected to grow in the June 8 primary. The trend began in 2002 when Californians were able to register as permanent absentee voters rather than having to request a mail ballot each election, a somewhat onerous task.
Times are definitely a-changing — and even more so in Sacramento County , where the elections department is offering “Ballot on Demand.” This system allows a ballot to be printed when one is requested, eliminating the need to preprint ballots. Sacramento County is the first in California to utilize this new technology. According to Sacramento County Registrar of Voters Jill LaVine, it “eliminates the waste of unused preprinted ballots that must be destroyed after the election. This allows the County to save money and become a little greener at the same time.”
So, Californians, get ready to vote. And while you are at it, whether it’s at the kitchen table or at the polls, don’t forget that CSAC is recommending a “no” position on Proposition 16.