Union unhappy that 2014 ballots will be outsourced

The nation’s public employee union is asking election officials to reverse the decision to have a transnational firm print the 2014 ballots for president and the legislature.

The union, the Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados, said that the decision taken last month appears to be anti-union and even if the ballots cost more to print here at the Imprenta Nacional, the money would go to the government.

The Imprenta Nacional in La Uruca is facing reduced workloads since agency officials decided to put the La Gaceta official newspaper only on the Web and eliminate the daily printed editions. There have been work stoppages and threats of more.

The union letter, signed by Albino Vargas Barrantes, secretary general, said that various clauses in the election law require the work to be done by the Imprenta Nacional. It also identified the firm contracted to do the work as R. R. Donnelley.

The firm has a local subsidiary, R. R. Donnelley de Costa Rica, S.A.

The Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones reported that more than 3 million persons for the first time are eligible to vote. In addition to ballots for the presidency, there are ballots for legislature, and they are specific to the various provinces and communities where many local political parties seek votes.

There also are all kinds of informative material for voters. Vargas estimated that the job would require 3,750,000 ballots for the presidency and a similar amount for legislators for the first round of voting. If there is not a clear winner, another set of ballots would be needed for the runoff.

The Tribunal notes on its Web site that there are just 339 days remaining before the next election.

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