Bo Lipari Reports, 7/22/05


There is No Requirement that Ballots be Printed in New York State


One of the arguments we've been hearing about the cost of paper ballots is that they must be printed in NYS. Some have even claimed that election law requires it, or that Fort Orange Press or Phoenix Graphics are the only two printers allowed to print ballots. They say this to minimize the low ballot costs that other states pay and to discredit our 29 cent per ballot quote for Schenectady County.  But it isn't true.


New York State has no statutory rules on printing paper ballots.  Several counties print their own ballots in house. Standard contract rules apply if the board contracts for ballots, but otherwise there are no constraints.


Nothing prohibits a county from bidding out their contracts to printers other than Fort Orange and Phoenix Graphics, or going out of state for that matter.


So our argument about the competitive bidding process guaranteeing low ballot costs as seen in other states is valid. Any claim that ballots somehow are "required" to be printed in NYS, or cannot be put out to bid in or out of state, is untrue. There's no reason for us to pay the high ballot costs that DRE advocates claim.


Sequoia has a contract with New York City that that forbids the NYC board from using any paper ballot in the Sequoia scanner except from a printer sub-contracted by Sequoia.  This artificially raises the price by eliminating competition, and Sequoia gets to add on a contract administration surcharge on top of the amount paid the printer.