Sapulpa company busy printing California election ballots

Tuesday, September 16th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A local company is keeping a close watch on the California recall process. And how does Oklahoma ensure that ballot problems don't derail elections here? News on Six anchor Craig Day takes a look.

At the MidWest Printing Company in Sapulpa, employees are wrapping up and shipping out ballots for the California recall election. Howard Seay, MidWest Printing Vice President, "we print ballots all over the country, but in the state of California this is our second election. We're printing about 300,000 ballots for San Joaquin County. It's about 270 precincts so it's a big job for us."

A big job that could be for nothing since a federal appellate court postponed the election in California. "California hasn't upgraded their system and that's what the holdup is about." The delay was ordered because California has outmoded punch-card ballot machines in six counties.

What makes Oklahoma different from California is that we're uniform in all 77 counties. All across Oklahoma you'll find the very same procedures and machines. The Oklahoma State Election Board requires all elections to be printed with exact specifications for electronic voting machines. In Oklahoma, that means optical scanners.

While the debate over California's recall election moves forward, the workers at MidWest Printing will soon send the stacks and bundles of ballots to California anyway. “If the court order postpones the election until March, these ballots will be worthless." But if they are worthless, it would mean a new batch of ballots would be needed and that means more business for this Oklahoma company.

MidWest Printing in Sapulpa says it will keep to its schedule to send out the California ballots by September 22nd.