Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Dec 20th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Paperless Progress

vote-smartElection season is looking a little greener this year
California has 17 million registered voters. All in all, the voting public of California cuts down about 60,000 trees every election season just so we can have our sample ballots (which some of us just toss in the recycling—or, worse, the trash). But there is a more eco-friendly option, or set of options, on the horizon locally.

Enter paperless sample ballots, the first of two tree-saving measures undertaken by the county. Until recently, California voting law required that a sample ballot be sent to every voter; with that law amended, voters can now request that an e-ballot be sent to their email address in place of a physical pamphlet dropped into their mailbox.

This is the first year that the option has been in place, so there are not yet statistics on how many people have chosen to opt out of physical ballots. However, it won’t take many to save a lot of trees.
“Right now we’re sending ballots to 145,696 voters,” says Santa Cruz County Clerk Gail Pellerin. “Obviously, if we can get even 10 percent [of Santa Cruz voters] to opt out of physical ballots, we’re going to save 10 percent more paper.”

And there’s a second option as well. For those tethered to their smartphones, Android and iPhone users will be able to download a voting guide app for Santa Cruz, San Mateo and Shasta counties.
The app does a few things. First, you can request the aforementioned paperless sample ballot through the app itself. Second, and more importantly, the app has information on local, state and federal candidates, and also includes information on measures and propositions.

It also allows you to check your candidate and proposition preferences, which you can save in the app beforehand. Now you can whip out your phone in the voting booth and remind yourself of the choices you’ve made—you’re saving time and you’re saving trees.

Created in partnership with Dr. Elizabeth Bergman, professor of political science at California State University East Bay, the nonpartisan app was developed by Atwoodz Inc., and uses information only from state and federal agencies. The app can be found by searching for “Santa Cruz Voter Guide” on either the Apple App store (for iPhone users) or Google Play (for Android users).

“People like getting their information online,” says Pellerin. “A lot of people are using our website for a lot of resources.”

Both the app and the online sample ballot use no paper. If their use becomes widespread, that’s a big step up from losing 60,000 trees per election season.

To opt out of paper ballots, go to votescount.com/optout.htm.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire