Paper Shortage Could Affect Midterm Elections: Mainstream Media Gives Report
While paper shortages have been challenging commercial printers for months now, the issue is now bubbling to the top of some mainstream media channels. On Tuesday, June 14, CNBC’s Ylan Mui joined Shep Smith to report on a paper shortage around that country that could have a significant impact on the November midterm elections.
The State of the Issue
Phoenix-based Runbeck Election Services prints election materials across 23 states, plus Washington, D.C. It can use up to 60 rolls of paper, weighing one ton each per day — but getting the paper has been a challenge. With costs up 40%, delayed deliveries, and supply chain issues, Congress is warning that the paper shortage would undermine America’s right to vote in the upcoming November elections.
Some states, like Texas, have already had to limit the number of voter registration forms it hands out because of paper shortages. In Louisiana, officials have been searching for paper for months, calling every paper mill in North America looking for needed supplies.
Because of the shortages encountered, Louisiana Secretary of State, Robert Kyle Ardoin, is calling on the Biden Administration to invoke the Defense Production Act to ensure U.S. paper mills can meet demand. Printing needs to begin in September for the November elections.
Crucial Advocacy and Awareness
Back in March 2022, PRINTING United Alliance met with key government stakeholders and printing and paper industry leaders in Washington to raise awareness of — and work to alleviate — paper shortages and supply chain challenges, especially considering upcoming elections and printed ballot supply availability.
As reported by Mark Michelson, the objective of the roundtable was to bring to light the challenges the printing industry is facing, most directly to the standpoint of assuring availability of paper needed for electoral ballots, but also to expose the widespread effects on business operations throughout the industry supply chain and to explore potential actions to lessen those constraints.
Ford Bowers, CEO of PRINTING United Alliance, also stopped by the Impressions Xchange studio to discuss the state of an industry-wide shortage of printing papers and other supply chain disruptions and share how the Alliance is advocating on behalf of the entire printing industry.