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ELECTIONS Printing of absentee ballots returns to Mahoning County



Published: Tue, June 14, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



A Dayton company printed the absentee ballots for the May primary.

By DAVID SKOLNICK

VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- The printing of absentee ballots for Mahoning County elections is returning to the county.

For the May primary, the printing of the ballots was awarded to an out-of-town company for the first time in at least two decades.

That was because Olfield Graphics, an Austintown company formerly known as Youngstown Lithographic, had its proposal rejected when it failed to include a mandatory bid bond and didn't follow bid specifications. Youngstown Litho printed the county's absentee ballots for at least 20 years.

Olfield didn't bid on the Aug. 2 absentee ballot proposal, but Cubbison Co., its sister company with the same Victoria Road address, did. Cubbison was awarded the contract to print the absentee ballots Monday for 66 cents each.

Dayton Legal Blank of Dayton was the only other company to bid on the job. Its proposal was for $1.27 a ballot.

Dayton Legal Blank received the absentee ballot printing job for the May primary. Olfield was the only other company to bid on that job, and was disqualified.

Dayton has sought the Mahoning absentee printing job for years, but always lost to Youngstown Litho. Dayton handles ballot printing for several counties in Ohio.

Forgetting absentees

In the August special election bid specifications, the elections board failed to include the need for absentee ballots for the Sebring school precincts.

It only included the need for absentee ballots for a Jackson-Milton school district bond issue and for a Smith Township precinct in the Alliance school district that is seeking approval in the special election for a tax levy.

The omission of the Sebring school income tax proposal on the bid specifications isn't a problem because the companies gave the elections board a base price on each ballot, said Michael Sciortino, election board director. Adding the need for absentee ballots for the four precincts open in Mahoning County for the Sebring school district won't change the 66 cents base price, he said.

"When the contract is written, it will include providing absentee ballots for all the precincts we have for the August special election," Sciortino said.

The board also awarded a contract Monday to Barrett Bros. of Springfield for election supply kits at $25.90 for each precinct. The supplies include sample ballots, posters on how to vote, pens, envelopes, scissors and other items. Barrett has been the election board's supply kit provider for several years.

skolnick@vindy.com




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