By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
EL RENO – On the heels of this year’s record-setting general election, Canadian County Commissioners have awarded a contract to a company to print ballots for the next Canadian County election.
The commissioners, at their Nov. 9th regular meeting, awarded a low bid to Midwest Printing for ballot printing for the Canadian County Election Board.
Some 62,040 Canadian County residents voted in the Nov. 3rd general election – representing the most ballots ever cast in this county.
Canadian County Election Board Secretary Wanda Armold recommended Midwest Printing over Royal Printing for the latest ballot printing contract.
“I would prefer to go with Midwest,” said Armold, after advising commissioners about an issue with ballots provided by Royal Printing for the recent election.
“I have pictures to prove it – the stubs on their ballot were not perforated well, which created problems for my precinct officials on Tuesday,” she explained.
Some ballots were tearing at the top, so the voting machine was pulling them in crooked.
Canadian County precincts officials had to make sure every voter inserted their ballot from the bottom first, not the top.
“There were not tearing out well,” Armold said. “That’s not a good thing.”
Midwest Printing’s bid was 13 cents for 14-inch ballots, 14 cents for 17-inch ballots and 14.5 cents for 19-inch ballots. The prices are the same for regular, absentee and sample ballots.
Midwest Printing narrowly beat Royal Printing’s prices for Canadian County’s ballot printing bid. Royal Printing bid 13.5 cents for the 14-inch ballots, 14 cents for the 17-inch ballots and 14.5 cents for the 19-inch ballots.
A third company, Fort Orange Press of Albany, N.Y., responded to the bid solicitation although they are not (yet) a certified Oklahoma ballot printer. If Fort Orange Press was qualified, the bid would have been 40 cents per ballot.
One other vendor, Tulsa County, submitted a “no” bid.
In other business at their weekly meeting, Canadian County Commissioners approved a Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Officer Grant application for fiscal year 2021.
The Canadian County Sheriff’s Office has been awarded a $15,000 grant from DEQ to help fund its environmental officer position, Lt. Mike Grimes told commissioners.
Meanwhile, the weekly Canadian County Jail report showed 192 inmates in custody with 11 awaiting state Department of Corrections’ transfer.