Two printers who had done Bergen County’s ballot and election printing for the past several years say they were unfairly passed over when County Clerk John Hogan gave the work instead to a printing company in Hudson County.
Both contend they could have done the job for less. They also question why the work went to a firm outside Bergen County.
“It was just upsetting that we were never asked to bid on it,” said Elliot Ward, president of Bind Rite, a South Hackensack firm that did the bulk of the county’s election printing for the last four years. Hogan toured the print shop but did not ask for a bid, he said.
Hogan, the first Democrat elected county clerk in 23 years, said both firms had ample opportunity to say they were willing to do the work for less than what they had charged in previous years.
Bergen County spent about $2.3 million last year with the work going to Bind Rite and Printing Craftsman of Fairview. This year, Hogan awarded the work to Royal Printing Co. of West New York.
Hogan contends that the county’s election printing bill has increased in six of the last nine years. By shopping the work around to six different printing companies, he contends the county will save about $200,000 by the end of the year.
“They’re just used to every year increasing the budget for printing,” Hogan said of his critics on the printing issue.
State law does not require that election printing be put out to bid because of the specialized work involved in printing ballots and other related materials.
Ward said his firm would have charged slightly more this year because of a new requirement that election materials also be printed in Korean.
But he claims Royal has billed $675,135 for the primary elections this year, compared to the $448,041 billed by his company last year.