Printing company washes its hands of election debacle
By John McPhaul
The printing company in charge of printing the ballots for Sunday’s primary elections said delays in the printing process occurred because no electoral officials were present to supervise the process as mandated by law.
The excuses given by State Elections Commission (SEC) Chairman Juan Ernesto Dávila Rivera for Sunday’s primary elections debacle revolve around the delay in the printing of the ballots, which caused the partial suspension of the primaries on Sunday.
“The ballot printing process is carried out under the strict presence and supervision of the representatives designated by the SEC and all the parties at the printing facilities,” said José Antonio Fusté, legal adviser of Printech, the company contracted to print the primary election ballots. “This is by regulatory requirement of the electoral process itself. Without the presence of these officials, the ballots cannot be printed.”
Since the establishment of the new electronic ballot processing system in the 2016 general election, the printing company has been supplying ballots uninterruptedly and in full compliance with the standards established by the SEC, Fusté said.
“This occasion was no exception,” he said. “For this primary process, our work was carried out in accordance with the requests and purchase orders made by the SEC.”
The printing work was done despite the fact that no payment has been made by the SEC as previously established, Fusté added.
The Dominion company, which is responsible for the electronic scrutiny, and the printing company have no commercial relationship, the legal adviser noted. Printech is a security printing company, while Dominion is dedicated to providing the electronic system that tabulates ballots in local election processes, he said.
“Because of this being a process that the State Elections Commission is in charge of, we refer any other request for detailed information to its officials,” Printech said in a written communication.
“Our printing company has handled the printing of materials for processes that require high security for the past 25 years for the United States, Central and South America, and Puerto Rico,” Fusté said. “Seventy-five percent of our print production is exported to the world.”