Claims Vs. Facts
Committed to Clarity and Integrity
As an elections-focused company, we value honesty and transparency. To ensure you have the most up-to-date information available, here is a look at several common assertions about our services, processes, and ownership, along with verified facts.
Voter Registration Lists & Files
Claim: Counties turn over their entire voter registration list to Runbeck Election Services (Runbeck).
Fact: Counties send Runbeck a limited data extract list of eligible voters that includes only enough information to determine the correct ballot and the address to send the mail packet. No additional private identifiable information is included.
Claim: Runbeck maintains voter registration lists, but does not update and clean the voter registration data, leaving voters that have moved and/or died on the lists.
Fact: State and Federal laws, including the National Voter Registration Act (52 U.S.C. 20501-20511), dictate that voter registration management is solely the responsibility of county and state customers of Runbeck. Runbeck does not manage, update, or alter who is on these lists, or voter addresses. Runbeck uses the list of eligible voters and their addresses it receives from its customers to produce absentee/vote by mail packets.
Ballot Printing & Insertion
Claim: There is no paper shortage; this is an excuse to get Americans to use DRE/electronic ballots.
Fact: It is a documented fact that we are in a nationwide paper shortage, affecting many different industries.
Obtaining paper for envelopes and inserts also continues to be a challenge. Runbeck manages this supply chain risk with pre-planning and early ordering. Runbeck was able to secure enough paper allocations from paper suppliers to ensure that its election partners will have enough paper to print their paper ballots for the 2022 election cycle.
Claim: Runbeck and Maricopa County used lots of different kinds of paper for printing ballots.
Fact: In 2020 Maricopa County ballots printed by Runbeck were all produced on Rolland 80 lb. VoteSecur® paper, which Maricopa used for all their ballots. This ballot paper is specifically designed for ballots and is recommended by the tabulation vendor.
In 2022, Maricopa County ballots printed by Runbeck were all produced on Rolland 100 lb. VoteSecur® paper, which Maricopa used for all their ballots. This ballot paper is specifically designed for ballots and is recommended by the tabulation vendor.
Claim: Runbeck prints more ballots than there are voters. In the 2020 election, Runbeck printed twice as many ballots than were needed for the election in Maricopa County.
Fact: Runbeck prints the exact number of ballots for each ballot style that a county orders. Using the eligible voter data sent by the county, the specific ballot is printed for each voter’s ballot packet. In 2020, Runbeck produced over 3.6 million vote by mail ballot packets for Maricopa County; approximately 1.5 million for the August Primary, and approximately 2.16 million for the November General Election. Primary elections have fewer vote by mail ballots because voters not registered in a recognized party must tell the county which party ballot they wish to vote before they can be sent.
Claim: Runbeck placed the largest order of mail packet insertion machines in world history on March 1st, 2020.
Fact: On March 24th, 2020, Runbeck placed an order for 10 insertion machines from Winkler+Dünnebier (W+D). This decision was made as a result of hundreds of conversations with state and county partners, starting in late February all the way through March 23rd. These partners estimated that a higher volume of absentee/vote-by-mail ballots would likely be needed for the 2020 Primary and General election cycles than previously forecasted, and Runbeck’s 6 inserters at the time did not have the capacity to handle the anticipated increase in demand. This order of insertion machines was not the largest in world history, nor was it the largest in W+D’s history. For more information regarding the extent to which demand for absentee/vote-by-mail increased in 2020, please see the EAC 2020 EAVS Report.
Claim: USPS returns undelivered absentee/vote by mail packets to Runbeck.
Fact: All mail packets are printed with the county department or official’s address as the return address. All undeliverable mail packets are returned to the county or to the post office facility in the respective jurisdiction. Undeliverable absentee/vote-by-mail packets are never returned to Runbeck.
Images, Early Ballot Packets, & Signature Verification
Claim: Runbeck does not protect the chain of custody of Maricopa County’s early ballot packets.
Fact: Runbeck provides the means by which chain of custody and ballot security are ensured for Maricopa’s returned early ballot packets during sorting and signature image capture. The containers of early ballot packets with secure individually-numbered double seals are signed for by both our security and sorter teams, the seal number is recorded, the number of early ballot packets is confirmed at the individual piece level, and all security processes and procedures required of Runbeck by Maricopa County are followed.
Runbeck captures images of the unopened returned early ballot packets for Maricopa County, which are then used for signature verification. Bipartisan Maricopa County elections staff then pick up the early ballot packets for further processing and tabulation at Maricopa County’s election facility. Runbeck’s role helps reduce the time it takes Maricopa County Elections to verify signatures.
Maricopa County bipartisan staff transport early ballot packets to and from Runbeck regularly, and the process is well documented. During the 2022 General Election, at the request of Maricopa County, political party observers were present at Runbeck as the early ballot packets which had been dropped off by voters on Election Day were delivered to Runbeck by Maricopa’s bipartisan staff. This is confirmed by the Maricopa Republican Party: View Tweet.
Claim: Runbeck takes and/or possesses ballot images from Maricopa County’s returned early ballot packets.
Fact: Early ballot packets returned to Maricopa County Elections before the Election Day deadline are transported by bipartisan Maricopa County elections staff to Runbeck, where the outside of those unopened early ballot packets is scanned by Runbeck equipment. Runbeck does not open any early ballot packets during any part of its process, and with the ballot inside an unopened green tinted return envelope, it is not physically possible to capture an image of any voted ballot.
Claim: Runbeck alters signature images from the mail packet.
Fact: Runbeck has no ability to change the image of the signature block on the envelope. We submit 100% of the signature images to Maricopa County for signature verification. All affidavit envelopes are returned unopened to and processed at Maricopa County Elections Department.
Claim: Runbeck knows who hasn’t voted, so it can “make up” and vote ballots for those who haven’t voted.
Fact: Runbeck has no knowledge of which voters have voted. Runbeck sends absentee/vote by mail packets out, but does not receive any back except for the unopened affidavit envelopes it scans for Maricopa County. Even for these unopened envelopes, Runbeck doesn’t know if there is a ballot inside and/or if a ballot has been voted. Runbeck also doesn’t know which voters have voted early or on Election Day at voting locations.
Ballot Tabulation and Tabulation Vendors
Claim: Runbeck tabulates ballots.
Fact: Runbeck does not tabulate or adjudicate ballots. Runbeck has no financial affiliation and/or relationship with any tabulation vendor.
Maricopa County Audit
Claim: Runbeck did not respond to subpoenas to the Arizona State Senate.
Fact: Runbeck respects the Legislative and Judicial powers of subpoena. The Arizona State Senate never sent subpoenas to Runbeck. All subpoenas were sent to Maricopa County.
Claim: Kevin Runbeck donates to political campaigns.
Fact: Runbeck Election Services is an Arizona-grown, fully American-held, privately owned company. Owner Kevin Runbeck was born and raised in Phoenix. Runbeck Election Services’ focus is elections. For this reason, Kevin made a personal decision and has not made campaign, PAC, or other political contributions, other than one donation to support the Arizona candidate for President in 2008 and a couple of donations to a print industry PAC to support postal reform issues in 2019. Kevin no longer makes any political donations.
Claim: Brian Runbeck is a major donor to ActBlue.
Fact: Brian Runbeck is Kevin Runbeck’s brother. He has no ownership stake in Runbeck Election Services nor any ownership of any Runbeck products. In 2020, Brian donated $1,050 to specific campaigns through Act Blue. He made a total of 28 donations that varied in value from $12.50 to $100. For 25 of these, he also contributed 10% of the donation to cover the credit card transaction fee. These tips varied in range from $2.50 to $10.00 for a total of $103. All 25 tips are considered a separate donation, as the FEC makes no distinction between the two. The FEC logs a donation twice if it is earmarked for a specific campaign; once when donated to ActBlue, and once again when transferred to the specific candidate’s campaign. Ultimately, Brian gave 53 donations ($1,050 + $103 in admin fees) for a total contribution amount of $1,153.00. Runbeck believes that political contributions are a matter of free speech protected under the First Amendment and believes that its employees should be allowed to exercise this right.
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