Louisiana: Amid national controversy, commission to select new voting system | Mark Ballard/The Advocate
Born from the widespread, if incorrect, fears that American elections are tainted, the Voting Systems Commission met five times over the past six months. The commission’s work could conclude Wednesday when it votes on recommendations to Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin on how to conduct Louisiana elections into the future. Many conservatives argued to the commission that they want to replace voting machines with hand-marked paper ballots that are counted by hand. And that method is among the four options to be considered Wednesday by the commission. But an abundance of problems attends that system, not the least of which is disenfranchising disabled voters without sight or use of their hands. “My preference at this point is ballot marking devices (that prints a paper receipt) that the voters can verify and then put into an electronic scanner that maintains an electronic copy of it and a paper copy for audit purposes and tabulates it, so that we can have election results on election night,” Ardoin said in an interview. “I prefer that option because it gives us an opportunity to provide for our disabled individuals to be able to vote as independently as possible.” It’s a method he sought in two failed proposals before controversy over the 2020 presidential election results turned the temperature high on the issue. Ardoin has no idea of how much that system would cost, even a ballpark figure. He suspects it’ll be very expensive. “That’s why the law says ‘recommendations to the secretary.’ I’ve got to be able to make responsible decisions. I might want a Porsche, but I might only be able to afford a mid-sized van,” Ardoin said.