Blair to buy printed ballots

Demonstrations of new machines set

A Pittsburgh company expects to charge Blair County almost $144,000 to print and supply ballots for seven elections, starting in November when the voter-verifiable paper record voting system is introduced.

The William Penn Printing Co. submitted the only bid in response to the county’s advertisement for the printed ballots, Assistant County Administrator Nicole Hemminger advised commissioners Tuesday.

The bid reflects an estimate, solicitor Nathan Karn said, to be calculated based on the amount of paper ballots the state requires the county to provide to the precincts.

Based on the company’s estimate, the cost is probably going to be about 26 cents a ballot, Hemminger said.

It also works out to an average of about $20,500 per election or $41,000 annually, based on William Penn’s price of $143,910.

The expense will need to be paid by the county’s general fund, Hemminger said, with the company expected to bill the county in connection with each election.

The county’s election office has already received the new voting machines — supplied by Elections Systems and Software of Omaha, Neb. — purchased to meet the state’s demand for use of a system that generates a paper trail to verify votes cast.

Sample ballots from William Penn were tested on the new machines, Hemming told commissioners.

They are compatible, commissioners Chairman Bruce Erb said.

Those interested in seeing a demonstration of the new voting machines, which will be used in the Nov. 5 general election, can attend one of the remaining demonstrations:

– Today — 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Bellwood-Antis Public Library, 526 Main St., Bellwood.

– Thursday — 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Altoona Area Public Library, 1600 Fifth Ave.

– Monday — 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Hollidaysburg Area Public Library, 1 Furnace Road.

– Tuesday — 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Martinsburg Community Library, 201 S. Walnut St.

– Sept. 26 — 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Roaring Spring Community Library, 320 E. Main St.

– Sept. 30 — 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Williamsburg Public Library, 511 W. Second St.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.