Part of the Bay Area News Group

Election printing goof leads to black mark

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Thursday, September 25th, 2008 at 3:48 pm in 2008 November election, Contra Costa politics.

A data processing error has Contra Costa County elections chief Steve Weir looking for a Sharpie. A lot of Sharpies.

As many as 200,000 ballot envelopes scheduled to be mailed on Monday depict the addressed voter’s party registration. It’s a violation of a new state law barring such designations on the outside of ballot envelopes used in general elections.

Weir caught it before the offending envelopes left the vendor, Ashland, Ore.-based IPCO Independent Printing Co. (It’s not the vendor’s error, Weir said. It was his office that failed to click the right button during the processing of the massive voter database.)

Weir’s plan of attack?

The vendor will deploy Sharpie-wielding clerks armed with black permanent markers. (Okay, I don’t if they will use actual Sharpies or some generic pen._

“We’ve tested it and we’re confident it will work,” Weir said.

“Project Mark Out” will not delay the mailing of ballots and voters shouldn’t worry if they see black line on the front of their envelopes that blocks out the disallowed verbage.

But unlike a problem of a few elections ago when the ballots came from the printer with a crease and Weir personally ironed thousands of crinkled ballots, he has no plans to go to Oregon and take a marker in hand.

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

  • RR

    I am consulting my attorneys about the black mark. I fear I may have been blacklisted as a blackleg because of this black mark. I am suffering stress as a result of this black day. In addition, the use of black color could be construed as racially inspired in parts of the county.