Last week, PRINTING United Alliance, the most comprehensive member-based printing and graphic arts association in the U.S., 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 in light of upcoming elections and printed ballot supply availability.
With the Alliance having written to the Committee on House Administration several weeks prior, the roundtable discussion was convened by the committee’s ranking member Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), who has broad oversight and jurisdiction over federal elections.
Attended by leaders across the paper and printing industries, election vendors, state and local elections officials, industry groups, and the Election Assistance Commission, the discussion explored the implications of restricted paper supplies on the upcoming midterm elections.
“As states prepare for upcoming elections, the last thing election officials should have to worry about is a paper supply shortage impacting ballots and envelopes,” says Davis. “Unfortunately, this is a complex issue, and likely does not have an immediate solution. That’s why it’s critical to bring together key stakeholders and industry leaders as we work toward identifying solutions to ensure every eligible American is able to exercise their right to vote.”
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 explore potential actions to lessen those constraints.
“The Alliance is raising the profile of the printing industry and the special challenges and constraints it faces due to far-reaching supply chain issues,” says Ford Bowers, CEO, PRINTING United Alliance. “Printing is an essential industry, and nothing highlights its essential nature more than the fact that, without printing, faith in our democratic process and elections are at risk.
“The conversation that took place during this special roundtable was a good first step in putting this issue in front of key stakeholders who have the ability to influence necessary legislative remedies and change.”
A second meeting will be set at a later date to discuss updates and any remedies or action being planned.
To further address and track updates to the constantly changing landscape of supply chain issues, PRINTING United Alliance has also launched a dedicated Supply Chain Resource Channel that companies can easily navigate the latest news and insights.