2022 Election: Arizona tech firm shows how mail-in ballots are made

With just weeks to go before the midterms, we are going behind the scenes to see how mail-in ballots are made.

People who print ballots for a living never thought they’d be under the microscope, defending what they do, but they invited our cameras inside the facilities in an effort to be transparent, and correct some of the election misinformation that is still swirling around.

Process shown, from printer to pallet

The Runbeck Election Services factory is kind of like Willy Wonka, in a sense, but instead of rivers of chocolate, there are streams of ballots that will eventually reach voters' homes.

"Doing the right thing, making sure 100%, making sure it’s quality control. Making sure it’s a good product," said Luis Maria.

Runbeck Election Services' warehouse in Phoenix is 163,000 square feet, with 200 plus workers pouring over every detail. This site, alone, prints more than 70 million ballots each election cycle, and CEO Jeff Ellington wants the voters to see it for themselves.

"I want [them] to know that it’s safe and trustworthy," said Ellington. "There are a lot of people making sure that every step of this process is full of integrity. It’s all about democracy, and it really doesn’t care who wins."

After 50 years in business, Runbeck suddenly found itself the target of election misinformation, from bamboo in the ballots to purposely over-printing, and returned ballots allegedly being mailed back here.

All head-scratchers, according to Ellington.

"So, some of that was just us trying to understand what they could be looking for, and then trying to help explain what it really is on there, not on there. No secret watermarks or anything like that," said Ellington.

Conspiracies aside, it is crunch time at the facility, with mail-in ballots going to Maricopa County voters, as well as Washington, D.C. and 23 other states.

Continuing 2022 Elections Coverage

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