Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Ardoin Withdraws Voting Machine Procurement

by BIZ Magazine

The state of election administration in our country is virtually unrecognizable from that of just a few years ago, yet Louisiana remains an unparalleled leader in election process and procedures – free from the controversy that has surrounded so many states. Because of our unwavering commitment, Louisiana remains a national leader in delivering safe, secure, accurate and transparent elections.

After consultation with the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate, Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin announced the immediate cancelation of the Request for Proposal (RFP) #3000016411 for the phased acquisition of new voting systems in replacement of Louisiana’s nearly thirty-year-old fleet of voting machines. While the RFP is compliant with all aspects of Louisiana’s election and procurement laws, questions have arisen regarding the applicability of Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machine technology (presently required by law) and how it impacts the level of competition for this solicitation.

“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,” said Ardoin. “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.”

“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.”

“We remain vigilant in our mission to deliver safe, secure, accurate, and transparent elections to the voters of Louisiana.”

–          Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin

“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.”

–        Louisiana Speaker of the House Clay Schexnayder

“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.” 

–         Louisiana Senate President Page Cortez

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