Community , Government

ON Election Board hires printing company for 2020 election mailings

The Osage Nation Election Board is hiring a Broken Arrow-based printing company for its planned mailings to Osage voters for the 2020 general election including absentee ballots.

After a discussion on print and mailing quotes, the Election Board unanimously selected Target Marketing Print and Mail Solutions to handle the printing of information to Osage voters regarding the June 1 general election. Target Marketing and an Oklahoma City company both submitted bids for the election mailing services, which were considered during a Feb. 19 special board meeting.

The Election Board, along with Election Supervisor Alexis Rencountre, considered the business locations (should a company visit be needed) in addition to price quotes, including postage costs. The quote for Target Marketing’s services totals $18,114, according to Election Board Chairwoman Shannon Lockett.

Rencountre said the printing job will cover the absentee ballots and accompanying envelopes, an official election notice to be mailed to all voters, as well as one or two mailouts with any additional election information.

During the meeting, the board visited with Danielle Cockrell, president of Target Marketing, who said her business is Native American-owned, has a Tribal Employment Rights Office (TERO) certification and was founded in 1988.

The 2020 ON general election will be the first time Target Marketing will be handling election-related printings for the Nation.

The company has handled print and mail jobs for Tulsa area candidates running for office, local school districts, universities, businesses and other tribes including the Pawnee and Chickasaw nations, Cockrell said, adding past smaller jobs can contain 500 mailings.

Target Marketing has also handled past jobs for the ON Museum and Cherokee Nation, which included the company’s largest job where 620,000 pieces of promotional literature were mailed out, Cockrell said.

“We like to work very closely with our printing company because we have some pretty specific things that are involved with our absentee mailing,” Lockett said. “There’s a signature that has to show (in envelope window), there’s specific designs that we have to be confident will be accurate so everything will fit, and everything will show like it’s supposed to (in mailings).”

“We also have some really hard and fast deadlines where we have to get things out so voters can get their ballots in time to mark them and return them and get them back to us before the election,” Lockett said to Cockrell, adding from past election experiences that “our voter base can be hard to please sometimes, they don’t like mistakes, none of us do and they certainly hold us to task when we have them, so we try to avoid that … this is a very important part of our election.”

Cockrell said she understood Lockett’s concerns, noting “we know that certain situations call for hands-on, so we’re definitely very involved at that level … we can work hand-in-hand here.”

According to a 2020 general election important date list, absentee ballot request forms must be submitted to the Election Office by April 17 at 4:30 p.m. CST. Absentee ballot mailing will begin on April 27.