BATON ROUGE, La. - Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin has announced he’s no longer requesting the replacement of the state’s more than 30-year-old voting machines.
Ardoin cited questions surrounding the applicability of Direct Recording Electronic voting machine technology and how it impact the level of competition as the reasons for withdrawal of his request.
“While our current election-day voting machines has served Louisiana well, it is imperative that we seek the prompt engagement of the Louisiana Legislature to help our office to clarify these matters of law and to ensure that our citizens receive the highest level of competition in this important procurement. We cannot let election administration become just another political football for politicians or voting machine vendors to kick around, without any understanding or concern for the consequences. Simply put, no other agency in Louisiana has a higher requirement for precision than the Secretary of State in conducting our elections,” said Ardoin. “Because of this, I am withdrawing the RFP to spend the next few months seeking to undo the damage to voter confidence done by those who willfully spread misinformation and disinformation. While we respect calls for more discussion of the process, it must be noted that Louisiana began preparing for this acquisition following the 2016 federal election cycle. It was never rushed or inconsistent with accepted budgetary or procurement laws. A glaring omission from the calls for more discussion is any credible criticism of our current election process.”
Ardoin says he came to this decision after consulting with Louisiana Speaker of the House Clay Schexnayder and Senate President Page Cortez.
“I believe Secretary of State Ardoin has made the right call to pull back on the procurement process for new voting machines. Louisiana elections are some of the most safe and secure elections in the United States and giving more oversight to the process will only strengthen that,” Schexnayder said.
“I am in complete support of Secretary of State Ardoin’s decision to withdraw the current procurement process for new voting machines in Louisiana. I believe this will bring an opportunity for full transparency on the purchasing process and election systems for all levels of government,” said Cortez.