Elections Canada looking to buy 85,000 ballot boxes, other supplies

Canada’s next federal election may still be some three years away, but Elections Canada is ramping up its local purchasing of ballot boxes, voting screens and other supplies.

The series of tender notices published Thursday offers a glimpse into the preparations that go into organizing elections as well as the contracting opportunities, which have run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars in previous years, available to businesses.

The materials Elections Canada is requesting includes:

– 300,000 large envelopes;

– 85,000 ballot boxes;

– 70,000 voting screens, which allow individuals to cast their ballot in secret;

– 42,000 election return boxes; and

– 40,000 distribution centre boxes, marked with Election Canada’s logo and identification numbers.

Elections Canada says it needs the materials delivered to its Coventry Road distribution centre by next spring.

Federal contracting records suggest Elections Canada last purchased many of these items in 2014. That year, Stittsville’s Smith Induspac won a $113,850 contract to supply 115,000 voting screens, while Belleville’s Norampac received a contract worth nearly $172,000 for ballot and election return boxes.

The federal government is the largest purchaser of goods and services in the National Capital Region, keeping many local businesses busy with orders for office furniture, printer cartridges and other supplies that it needs on a large scale.

Federal spending in Ottawa-Gatineau climbed 16 per cent in the 2015-16 fiscal year to $2.89 billion, according to OBJ’s Book of Lists.