The News and Observer and the Charlotte Observer have concentrated on the fact that Printelect prints the majority of ballots used in every election in NC (86 out of 100 counties) and that they charge considerably more than other printers. They have also pointed out that Printelect is the sole agent for Election Systems and Software (ES&S). ES&S is the only certified election equipment vendor in NC.
Some more facts mentioned in their articles: Printelect is a subsidiary of Owen G. Dunn Company in New Bern. The company’s president, Owen Andrews is a long-time friend of Governor Perdue and Gary Bartlett, Executive Director of the State Board of Elections.
What has not been mentioned yet is that Printelect actually programs the voting machines for North Carolina counties.
So, they not only sell the voting equipment to all 100 counties, print ballots for 86 counties and provide equipment maintenance services, but they also program the equipment to record the votes cast.
Who is looking to ensure North Carolinians are provided fair, accurate and honest elections when a sole company is involved in every step of the ballot process. It appears that any oversight is corrupted when the State Board of Elections’ Director is a friend of the president of the company and the Governor is the recipient of substantial election contributions from him.
Read more about Printelect in the News and Observer and the Charlotte Observer.
This is the Printelect website detailing their election services.
This is a page from the State Board of Election’s Election Resource Center Website that includes a link to a Printelect Login to schedule coding and ballot work.
Joyce McCloy says
ES&S is the sole vendor because the other 2 certified vendors, Diebold and Sequoia bowed out. Diebold went to court to gut the verified voting law. EFF.org represented me and we beat Diebold. The 5 member Bi Partisan SBoE voted to certify these three vendors on Dec 1. I sued the State BoE over certification process. The SBoE had to fight ME to certify any vendors. In the end, the judge ruled that certification of the three vendors met standards of the law. Activists, republican, democrat and other around the state opposed the purchase of Diebold after Diebold’s ruthless bid to gut election transparency laws. The Chairman of Warren Co GOP wrote op/ed saying Dont Buy Diebold. Finding few interested counties and unable to lower our standards, Diebold fled the state at end of Dec 2005. Since then, Diebold was sold to ES&S, then per DOJ sold to Dominion of Canada.
R/e ballot printing – this is an issue in many states. Not many ballot printing companies. New Mexico pays an average of $1.26 per ballot. New Hampshire an average of $.23 per one page ballot.
But PrintElect has been printing ballots for many NC counties for decades, even when we had Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia, Danher, Unilect, Microvote, Hart Intercivic and WinVote.
See what happens with incompetent ballot printers at this database of problems at Voters Unite:
Quite a few counties have a local (non ES&S) printer they are using, so we know that opportunity exists, if a company is willing and able to serve.
Owen Andrews says
It bears mentioning that every county in NC has a 2 to 1 majority Democratic Board, and the Directors in each county are appointed by that Board. The party of the Governor generally appoints the majority of the State Board of Elections and subsequently each county Board. So, an intelligent voter would be right in thinking that if ES&S or PrintElect were not programming voting equipment for the counties, and not doing any maintenance on equipment for the counties, these functions would be done potentially by the county. Would Civitas also suggest that all 100 counties are partisan, and should not be allowed to do these important functions? Who does the work? This work is done with the State Board and County oversight, tested at the vendor level, then at the State level, and lastly at the county level. Each county is responsible for doing their own logic and accuracy testing prior to each election day to insure that every ballot is correct, and every machine is functioning properly. These are standard best practices used all over the country, and accepted and endorsed by elections officials in every state.