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Stop Delivering Political Mail To Me

Mailbox Flooded With Political “Junk”

Audio

Aired 10/21/10

If you're a registered voter, you no doubt have noticed the flood of campaign material in your mailbox. I have too and wanted to see if I could "opt out."

If you're a registered voter, you no doubt have noticed the flood of campaign material in your mailbox. I have too and wanted to see if I could "opt out."

A collection of unwanted political mail from Ed Joyce’s mailbox.
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Above: A collection of unwanted political mail from Ed Joyce’s mailbox.

First off, let me tell you I despise junk mail. The postal service doesn't like the term.

They prefer "third class mail" to describe the advertising material they deliver.

I've already registered with the organization that takes your name off mailing lists.

But I wondered if I could stop the endless amount of political mail filling my mailbox every day.

San Diego County's Registrar of Voters Deborah Seiler said if you're a registered voter, your mailing address is fair game.

"Those by law are made available for political and governmental purposes," Seiler said. "And of course those laws are written by people in the state legislature who naturally want access to that information precisely for this reason: So that they can contact voters for and against their candidacies and measures and all of the various issues on the ballot."

In California, that translates into a lot of mail.

When political commercials come on TV or radio, you can mute or change channels. But there's no mute button on my mailbox - and no opting out.

"The best I can offer you is that your telephone number is optional," said Seiler. "So I know people do complain about getting phone calls from the campaigns and the telephone number is optional, e-mail is optional."

Not sure if I get more or less political mail because I'm registered as "decline to state."

Either way, it all gets tossed in the recycling bin - without my name and address - which always gets shredded.

I'm also a permanent absentee voter and fill my ballot out before most of the political mail fills my mailbox.

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