vote_lede_template.jpgIn an effort to make elections a bit more green without forcing you to vote for Ralph Nader, the SF Department of Elections is encouraging voters to opt out of their paper Voter Information Pamphlet and Sample Ballot.

2012 is the first year that the department is allowing residents to opt out of receiving the paper version of the pamphlet and sample ballot.

The city’s Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance in September approving the change after similar legislation was approved by the state Legislature in 2010.

The local law was passed to save the city money. There were more than 464,000 registered voters in San Francisco as of last November’s election, and printing and mailing the paper version of the pamphlet to each voter costs nearly a dollar a piece, according to officials.

Voters who wish to stop mail delivery of their pamphlet and sample ballot must fill out an opt out/opt in form available on the Department of Elections’ website.

As long as the request is submitted at least 50 days prior to an election, voters will then stop receiving the paper version and instead access the online one, which officials say will be available 40 days prior to any election at

Miss that old voter pamphlet smell? You can always opt back in. Those wishing to opt out of receiving the Voter Information Pamphlet and Sample Ballot by mail (clever, that.) must make sure their request is received by the Department of Elections no later than April 16th for the June 5th and all subsequent elections.

To opt out, visit the Voter Information Pamphlet and Sample Ballot Opt Out/Opt In Form here. Have more questions about how this works? The Dept of Elections has a handy FAQ here, and you can call them at (415) 554-4375.

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the author

Always in motion. April Siese writes about music, takes photos at shows, and even helps put them on behind the scenes as a stagehand. She's written everything from hard news to beauty features, as well as fiction and poetry. She most definitely likes pie.

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