MAYVILLE – The Republican Presidential Primary was held last night in New York State and here in Chautauqua County, and the unofficial tally has Mitt Romney as the winner. But Chautauqua County’s Election Commissioners would also argue that taxpayers were also big winners, to the tune of over $11,700. That’s how much money the county saved with the county board printing ballots in-house.
Chautauqua County prints ballots in house at a cost of 15-cents per ballot, for a total county charge of $3,942.90 – that’s nearly one quarter the cost of having the ballots printed by the state’s only two certified commercial printers for optical scan ballots. Election commissioner Norman Green says if the were to use the commercial printer, the bill for printing ballots would be $15,000 – meaning the county actually saved over $11,000 by printing the ballots in-house.
Chautauqua County is joined by four other New York State counties with in-house ballot printing operations. The companies that do the commercial printing had threatened to sue the county for printing its own ballots, but the lawsuit has yet to materialize.