Local business owners say election seasons boon

Sharna Johnson

Signs and banners sprout up throughout the community during election season, an indicator that printing companies have the corner on the business of elections.

But printers say while elections certainly are a boon to their business, it’s not an element they count on.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a major component, but it is a nice bonus,” said Don Thomas, who works at the Print Shop in Clovis.

Voters head to the polls today.

Thomas said for his family’s company, most of the election buzz died off after the spring primaries.

“By the time it got to this (election candidates) had ordered so much for the spring one, that they had plenty,” Thomas said.

Political printing actually seems to be an all the time part of the business, said Della Dobson, manager of Zip Printing.

Between business cards, bulk mailings, signs and other products, Dobson said, though she said elections are a boost.

Even on the eve of the election, Dobson said there were still plenty of political print jobs coming in.

Thomas said some candidates have moved their business to Internet printing companies, but there are still plenty who prefer the personal service a local printer provides.

“We do personal service; we do quick turnaround — things that they can’t get anywhere else,” he said. “I still believe that people want customer service.”

County Clerk Connie Jo Lyman, who was elected in 2008, recalls a majority of her campaigning money going to signs and cards.

Lyman said she tried come up with materials that were somehow useful to voters by adding local sports calendars and other items to the products along with her campaign information.

“You try to put something on there that they won’t just throw in the trash,” she said.

Ideally, Lyman said she found the most effective campaign tools were smiles and handshakes.

“There is nothing like ‘Hi, my name is Connie Jo Lyman, and I would really like your vote,’” she said. “(But) candidates have to resort to lots of different media because they don’t have time to meet and greet each voter.”

This general election voters have already made a strong showing, with almost 21 percent of registered voters — 3,518 voting early and 761 voting absentee by mail — casting early ballots. That’s just six percentage points short of the entire number of voters — 27 percent — who cast ballots in the primary election.

“(The numbers are) significant for a gubernatorial election,” she said. “People are excited and wanted to vote this time … I think it’s just the national attention to these off-year elections. I believe that people are frustrated and realize it’s time to voice their opinions and I think that’s what they’ve been doing.”

Everything is set for today’s election, she said.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The canvass board is scheduled to convene Friday during the county commission meeting at 9 a.m. in the North Annex of the Clovis Carver Library.

Tentative scheduling has a final canvass board meeting at 3 p.m. Nov. 10, Lyman said, to certify the results.