Looking at the whole ballot

When S.F.’s voting pamphlet and sample ballot come out, which will happen soon, many citizens will be surprised to see how thick and dense it is. With 22 local ballot measures plus a variety of candidates to choose from, many potential voters may be tempted to toss the whole thing out or to vote only for the top of the ticket and a few favorite propositions. It’s worth remembering, though, that sometimes failing to vote on one question may nullify your vote on another. Take the JROTC policy measure, for example. If the measure passes, voters will have expressed a wish for the Board of Education to reinstate JROTC in the schools instead of phasing it out. However, the vote will have no effect on what the Board does. It’s only an opinion. People who want to change action, will have to vote on candidates for the Board of Education some of whom have expressed support for JROTC while others oppose reinstatement. It would also help if strong supporters or opponents of the action would go to Board of Education meetings and let members know how they feel. No one ever said democracy is easy, but it’s important to know all the steps you have to take to ensure that your voice is heard.

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