The Louisiana secretary of state’s office will have to redo its work to replace the state’s decade-old voting machines, after Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration refused Wednesday to reinstate a voided multimillion-dollar contract award. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne reviewed the decision to scrap the deal with Dominion Voting Systems, and Dardenne said he found that cancelling the contract award was “in the best interest of the state.” “As important as it is for the state to procure high-quality, efficient and reliable voting machine technology, it is equally important that the public have confidence that the voting machines their tax dollars pay for are procured fairly, transparently and in accordance with law,” Dardenne wrote in a letter outlining his decision. If Dominion wants to continue to try to hang onto the lucrative contract award to replace 10,000 Election Day and early voting machines, it will have to go to court. Otherwise, the company will have to bid again in a new process that starts from scratch.
The company didn’t immediately say what approach it would take.
“We are considering all available options,” Dominion spokeswoman Kay Stimson said in a statement.
Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, a Republican in office since May and running in a December special election to remain in the job, hasn’t said how or when he’ll restart the bid process. He’s defended the selection of Dominion and criticized the Democratic Edwards administration for tossing out the contract award.