I don't know how it's done in other states, but here in Oregon the state mails out "Voter Pamplet"s a few weeks before each election. These include descriptions of the candidates and other items on the upcoming ballot.
Well, last week we received Volume 1 of our pamplet for the November elections. Volume one only covers the 8 state measures -- those populous, voter-initiated measures which set out to change the way the government works. This year we have initutives ranging from Measure 36 (defining marriage as between one man and one woman) to Measure 32 (delete reference to mobile homes in certain tax laws). Some are VERY contentious.
What makes this years voter pamplet into an 150+ page volume are all of the arguments. Here in Oregon, anyone can include an arguement for or against a measure. The text is limited to a certain number of words and they cost $500. And this year, people not only included opinions -- and there are a lot of those in this opinionated year -- but some people went overboard with sarcasm and volume.
For instance, one fellow included three arguments for Measure 36 (one man/one woman). One argument included the bold admonition "AGREE WITH US OR BURN IN HELL" which gives you a sense of the sarcasm being used. Another one of the arguements points out the often ignored biblical marriage rules and argues for striking down all divorce laws and ends with the admonition that "Love is not good enough a reason for marriage, because marriage is only for" heterosexual breeding.
A little later, under "Arguments in Opposition", one person gave 100 reasons to vote against the measure. The allowed word count for one argument was too small for all 100 so they submitted 5 opinions (one has reasons to vote against numbered 1 thru 20, second has reasons numbered 21 thru 40, ...).
In other news, a local sheriff is reporting that the level of election type vandalism is higher than he's ever seen.
This is being a very odd election year.