By law, the Department of Elections must mail the VIP to every local voter unless they opt to access it online. So far, only about 9% of San Francisco’s’ over 500,000 registered voters have opted out of postal VIP delivery. For the last election, the Department printed over 460,000 copies of the 250-page VIP, using more than 172 tons of paper and costing over $1 million.
“We want to make sure all local voters know they have options when it comes to getting official election information,” said Director John Arntz. “Reading the Voter Information Pamphlet online is not only very convenient, but it reduces costs and conserves resources. Multi-voter households can also opt out of VIP delivery for all but one recipient, making it easy to go green while still enjoying the benefits of a shared paper copy.”
“This Earth Day let’s choose a greener future by switching to the online Voter Information Pamphlet. It’s easy, convenient, and eco-friendly,” said Tyrone Jue, Acting Director of the San Francisco Environment Department. “You’ll save trees, energy, and tax dollars, and help San Francisco lead the way in sustainability.”
On Earth Day, the Department of Elections will join other San Franciscans in celebrating Earth Day at the County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park. Outreach staff will be there from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. to raise awareness about the digital version of the VIP and assist those who want to switch to reading it online in future elections.
Over the next few months, the Department of Elections will encourage city residents to make the switch to the online VIP via TV, radio, digital ads, through direct email notifications, and via social media. The Department’s website will also prominently feature the “Go Green” message and will offer easy ways for voters to submit paper opt-out requests.
The Department will supplement its direct outreach efforts by partnering with local nonprofit organizations, the San Francisco Environment Department, the San Francisco Water Department, the San Francisco Public Library, and other city agencies to help deliver messages about the benefits of reading the Voter Information Pamphlet online.
To learn more about this topic, visit sfelections.org or contact the Department of Elections at 415-554-4375 or SFVote@sfgov.org.