Why printed paper is best for important records and documents

With the presidential elections quickly approaching, it is a good time to stop and think about how important paper documents are. It is becoming increasingly clear that printed paper records are, in certain situations, critical for reliability, authenticity and accessibility.

For example, the CEO of Election Systems and Software Tom Burt recently announced that his company would no longer sell paperless voting machines. This decision was made, Burton said, to “ensure faith in our system of democracy continues.”

In an op-ed for “Roll Call,” Mr. Burt wrote “we must have physical paper records of votes … That’s because it is difficult to perform a meaningful audit without a paper record of each voter’s selections.”

Even though the tabulation and calculation of the vote totals will ultimately be fed into computer systems, the original ballots that were cast by voting individuals can always be gone back to if there are any questions or recounts.

Along with the balloting process, it is also clear that our most precious documents always exist on paper. Marriage certificates, birth certificates and diplomas are printed and signed in paper and often with a raised seal. While there are many reasons to digitize these precious documents, the “original” is always the most important and critical one.

The same is true for instruction and owner’s manuals. While many vehicles, watercraft and aircraft today have sophisticated electronics on board, it is critical to have printed backup manuals in the event that the digital display or electronic systems cannot be accessed. Having safety related information available in printed form, in this situation, can mean the difference between life and death.

While printing company folks sometimes get lost in the nostalgia of the “old days” of ink-on-paper—before the electronic information revolution—it is important to remember that some documents are vital and need to be maintained in their physical paper form.

At Printwell, we are committed to keeping our customers informed about the importance of printed materials for archiving, marketing and communications purposes. If you would like to learn more, please contact your account representative for a consultation or send us a message here and someone from our account team will get in touch with you.