Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin says the contract to replace 10,000 voting machines with upgraded equipment has been awarded.
Ardoin says Dominion Voting Systems Inc. will handle the work. There’s been criticism of the company because it’s located out of state. Adroin explains all the companies that responded to the RFP were based out of state.
Ardoin explains the goal is to start the transition in five parishes with early voting next year. “You will cast a vote and it will record on a machine and the paper will move through,” Ardoin says.
Ardoin calculates that the estimated $60 million will cover the cost of the machines. Roughly $30 million will cover maintenance over a 10 year period. “Voters will feel more secure that their vote is counted the way they wanted it to count and not question that the machine has been hacked.”
Lafayette Parish Registrar of Voters Charlene Menard says voters have asked for documentation of how they voted. “Every time they come for early voting they want a copy of what they voted for. I said the machine does not supply that. So, I guess they listened to the voters.”
The current plan is to phase in the new voting machines in five parishes in time for the spring election. Full implementation is expected by 2020.
“We’ll want to bring in the machinery and show voters how they can use it,” Ardoin adds.
Adroin confirms they have the $10 million needed to begin the first phase.