Maryland contracts Minnesota company to produce mail-in ballots

A Minnesota-based company has agreed to produce up to 4 million mail-in ballots for Marylanders to use in this fall’s general election, the state’s board of elections announced Friday.

The Maryland State Board of Elections said that Taylor Corporation, which also does business as Curtis1000, is a part of the multi-vendor approach in order to meet this election’s high demand for socially distanced ways to vote amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This decision was made after SeaChange, the company that provided mail-in ballots for Maryland’s primary election back in June, told board this week that it wouldn’t produce the requested mail-in ballots for the November election.

According to the board, Taylor Corporation was vetted to see if it could serve as the state’s sole provider of mail-in ballots, whether it has the ability to meet the board’s timeline on delivering ballots, and what its plan is to place the ballots into the United States Postal Service’s local mail stream, as opposed to out-of-state.

“We have conducted an extensive review of Taylor Corporation’s capabilities,” said Maryland State Board of Elections Administrator Linda Lamone in a news release.

“In addition to requiring the company to provide multiple rounds of test ballots for review, we have spoken with elections officials in Clark County, Nevada, where the company implemented improvements to mail ballot packaging and provided sample ballot printing and oversaw delivery of sample ballots to more than 1 million voters during the 2018 General Election.”

“Based on this extensive review process, we have certified Taylor Corporation as a ballot printer in Maryland and are confident the company will meet the needs of Marylanders who choose to vote by mail.”

Another company, Runbeck Election Services, Inc., will produce and send about 4 million ballot applications and postage-paid return envelopes and with Single Point Sourcing to produce over 15 million ballots for in-person voting.

Specialized printing processes require more customization, the board said, and is why multiple companies are being contracted to help with this effort.

The tasks being carried out by these vendors are the production and distribution of applications for jurisdiction-specific mail-in ballots, postage-paid return envelopes and jurisdiction-specific mail-in and in-person ballots.

The Maryland State Board of Elections is allowing at least 270 ballot drop boxes to be set up throughout the state ahead of the November election.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

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Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

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