The Unending Cost of Voting Machines|
Voting machine vendor charges millions for electronic voting machines and then many times market value for printed ballots the machines could read.
reported June 26th that the company that produced Boulder County’s $3.1 million voting system will also print ballots for this year’s primary and general election, and it did not have to compete in a bid process for the contract.with
The county will pay Hart InterCivic $16,685 to print about 50,000 ballots for the Aug. 8 primary election and a still-undetermined fee for producing more than 200,000 ballots for the Nov. 7 general election, Commissioners Tom Mayer and Will Toor ruled Tuesday.
Mayer said he wished election employees had opened the contract to other
bidders who might offer a lower price, but acknowledged that County Clerk
Linda Salas and her employees are busy preparing for the upcoming election.
It's difficult to know what the ballots might have cost Boulder County if Hart InterCivic had been asked to compete but thirty three cents per page seems very high. It's interesting to compare Hart's cost per ballot with some of the digital offset printers available to individuals and businesses. VistaPrint for example provides High-quality, full-color, 2-sided campaign brochures on glossy stock for less than eight cents each. iPrint offers 5000 full color tri-fold brochures for just $639.00.
Boulder County could have had the fanciest ballots in the country for a fourth of what the electronic voter machine company will be charging for simple one-color ballots.
In November 2004, the $1.4 million optical scanning machines rejected
thousands of ballots, forcing workers to tally votes by hand for 68 hours
after the polls closed. Hart blamed the rejections on printing errors. The
following year, Hart won the contract to print Boulder County’s ballots for
the 2005 election despite another company submitting a lower bid to print
about 190,000 ballots.
Salas defended the decision to select Hart and forgo competitive bidding.