The up to $95 million price tag estimated by the company chosen for Louisiana’s lucrative voting machine replacement contract may have caused a bit of sticker shock, but the projection remains tens of millions of dollars cheaper than plans pitched by the two losing bidders. Financial proposals by vendors who weren’t chosen ranged from $115 million to nearly $160 million for the work, according to bid evaluation documents obtained by The Associated Press. Still, the cost projections submitted by the low-bidder that won the award, Dominion Voting Systems, remains at least $50 million or more higher than the money set aside for the work. Final terms — and a final price tag — for the contract remain to be negotiated.Full Article: Louisiana confronts sticker shock for new voting machines | NOLA.com.
Articles about voting issues in Louisiana.
The up to $95 million price tag estimated by the company chosen for Louisiana’s lucrative voting machine replacement contract may have caused a bit of sticker shock, but the projection remains tens of millions of dollars cheaper than plans pitched by the two losing bidders. Financial proposals by vendors who weren’t chosen ranged from $115 million to nearly $160 million for the work, according to bid evaluation documents obtained by The Associated Press. Still, the cost projections submitted by the low-bidder that won the award, Dominion Voting Systems, remains at least $50 million or more higher than the money set aside for the work. Final terms — and a final price tag — for the contract remain to be negotiated.Full Article: Winner of Louisiana voting machine contract was low bidder - Fairfield Citizen.
With the contract lucrative and available only once every decade or two, vendors were expected to aggressively fight for Louisiana’s contract to replace thousands of voting machines. But the latest search for a company to provide Louisiana’s voting equipment attracted more than just intense competition, also drawing allegations the secretary of state’s office mishandled parts of the bid process and attempted to manipulate the outcome for the winning bidder. The questions of impropriety come at the worst time for Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, the state’s chief elections official. Ardoin, a Baton Rouge Republican who took over the job after a sexual harassment scandal ousted his boss Tom Schedler, is running for the elected position on the Nov. 6 ballot.Full Article: Analysis: Voting machine allegations could impact campaign - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette.
The Office of State Procurement on behalf of Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin has issued an intent to award the RFP for Acquisition of New Voting Equipment to Dominion Voting Systems, Inc.. The State of Louisiana intends to enter into a contract with Dominion for the replacement of all early voting and Election Day voting machines. “We are very excited about new voting technology in our state,” said Secretary of State Ardoin. “Considering voting machines are purchased every 15-20 years, we anticipated this process would be highly scrutinized and possibly contentious. We appreciate the expert advice of the Office of State Procurement which has worked with my office to ensure the process has been fair and equitable for all bidders and we look forward to negotiating a final agreement with Dominion in the near future.”Full Article: New voting machines may be headed to Louisiana – News15 | Lafayette, LA.
Louisiana’s pick to replace thousands of decade-old voting machines is the company that was the subject of bid-rigging complaints involving the secretary of state’s office. The state’s procurement office sent letters Thursday announcing Colorado-based Dominion Voting Systems is the winning bidder based on “price and other evaluation factors.” Negotiations are set to begin for a contract now estimated to be worth up to $95 million. Louisiana slowed work to replace the machines and overhauled the team evaluating vendor proposals, after competitor Election Systems and Software raised allegations the secretary of state’s office manipulated the selection process to award the deal to Dominion.Full Article: Louisiana voting vendor chosen amid bid-rigging complaint | Myrtle Beach Sun News.
Louisiana will take longer than expected to pick the company to replace the state’s decade-old voting machines. In May, the Secretary of State’s Office said a winner bidder was expected to be chosen this month. But the agency said Thursday that timeline has been pushed back. No new date has been set for a selection. Three companies have put in bids for the work: Dominion Voting Systems, Election Systems and Software and Hart InterCivic.
Louisiana: Appeal challenging Louisiana Constitution felon voting rights law taken to state’s high court | The Advocate
A recent appeals court ruling that upheld the constitutionality of a 1976 Louisiana law barring felons on probation or parole from voting was appealed Friday to the state Supreme Court. The filing came eight days after Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law a measure that allows people who have been out of prison for five years, but remain on probation or parole, to register to vote. Some 2,000 felons in Louisiana will have their voting rights restored in March as a result of the governor’s signing House Bill 265 into law, which passed during this year’s regular legislative session.Full Article: Appeal challenging Louisiana Constitution felon voting rights law taken to state's high court | Courts | theadvocate.com.
After years of fighting for the change, an effort to restore the voting rights of thousands of Louisiana’s convicted felons still serving probation and parole was successful Thursday, winning final passage amid cheers, high-fives and hugs. A 54-42 House vote gave final passage to the bill by Rep. Patricia Smith, a Baton Rouge Democrat who had faced repeated defeat for the proposal. The measure squeaked out of the chamber, reaching the governor’s desk with one vote more than it needed. Gov. John Bel Edwards intends to sign the change into law, according to spokesman Richard Carbo. It will take effect on March 1, 2019.Full Article: Voting Rights Bill for Some Louisiana Felons Wins Passage | Louisiana News | US News.
A bill that would restore voting rights to felons on parole who have been out of prison for five years is on its way to the governor’s desk after it passed the Senate Wednesday. The bill passed the Senate 24-13. After failing twice in the House this session, the bill, written by Rep. Patricia Smith, D-Baton Rouge, passed the House in a 60-40 vote last week. Louisiana is one of 21 states where felons lose the right to vote for their time in prison and for the duration of their parole. Thirteen other states generally have more restrictive laws than Louisiana, according to a study conducted by the National Conference of State Legislatures.Full Article: Paroled felons may get voting rights restored.
A bid to restore voting rights to some of Louisiana’s convicted felons still serving probation and parole neared final legislative passage Monday, in a surprise turnaround after years of defeat. The Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee advanced the measure after senators on the committee spurned a move by Republican Sen. Jim Fannin of Jonesboro to kill the bill. Louisiana’s 1974 constitution allows suspension of voting rights for people who are “under an order of imprisonment” for a felony. A law passed two years later specified that people on probation or parole for a felony are included in that definition, leaving some unable to ever vote again after incarceration. The House-backed proposal would allow someone on probation or parole for a felony to register to vote after being out of prison for five years.Full Article: Louisiana Senate to decide voting rights bill for ex-felons - Fairfield Citizen.
A state appellate court refused on Wednesday to reconsider its April ruling upholding the legality of a 1976 Louisiana law that bars felons on probation and parole from voting. The case now heads to the Louisiana Supreme Court. Felons challenged the state law, claiming it’s unconstitutional and prevents more than 70,000 felons on probation and parole in Louisiana from voting. Bruce Reilly, deputy director of VOTE, said Wednesday the group’s members will do everything in their power to have their right to vote recognized.Full Article: Appeals court won't rehear Louisiana felon voting rights case | Courts | theadvocate.com.
Louisiana: Appellate court asked to reconsider legality of 1976 Louisiana felon voting law | The Advocate
A state appeals court in Baton Rouge is being asked to reconsider the constitutionality of a more than four-decade-old Louisiana law that prohibits felons on probation and parole from voting. State District Judge Tim Kelley, of Baton Rouge, upheld the 1976 law in March of last year, saying he agreed with the plaintiffs who challenged its legality but could not bend the law. The plaintiffs — a group called Voice of the Experienced, or VOTE, and several felons — say the law prevents more than 70,000 felons on probation and parole in Louisiana from voting.Full Article: Appellate court asked to reconsider legality of 1976 Louisiana felon voting law | Courts | theadvocate.com.
With calls for his resignation increasing, Louisiana’s secretary of state announced Tuesday that he is leaving his position as state elections chief amid allegations he sexually harassed one of his employees. Secretary of State Tom Schedler said in a letter to the governor that he will be stepping down May 8, becoming the highest-level public official in Louisiana to be felled by sexual misconduct accusations since the #MeToo movement began unseating people in positions of power in Hollywood, the media and government. “I leave office with a heavy heart knowing I have disappointed the people in my life who care for me the most,” Schedler wrote. “But I also have experienced from them the miraculous power of forgiveness and grace during the twilight of my career, and for that I am grateful.”Full Article: Louisiana elections chief quits amid sexual misconduct claim.
Louisiana: State officials deny assessment, say they are working to prevent voting interference | The Louisiana Weekly
The Institute for Southern Studies compiled research on states’ election security and concluded that many states, including Louisiana, urgently need to improve. The recommendation follows months of research on the part of federal and state lawmakers as well as voting security experts, who began assessing the vulnerability of election procedures after Department of Homeland Security officials notified 21 states that Russian hackers had attempted to infiltrate their election systems during the 2016 presidential election. In Illinois, hackers successfully accessed voter registration information for tens of thousands of voters. … The Institute’s index includes extensive research from the Center for American Progress, which gave Louisiana a “D” grade for its voting security in an election security report released in February 2018, based in part on the state’s continued use of paperless electronic voting machines. Election security experts recommend that states use machines that create ballots as votes are cast, which can be counted in a post-election audit to detect potential manipulation of votes.Full Article: State officials deny assessment, say they are working to prevent voting interference | New Orleans' Multicultural News Source | The Louisiana Weekly.
Laws that prohibit felons on parole or probation from voting do not violate Louisiana’s constitution, a state appeal court ruled Friday. The 1st Circuit Court of Appeal in Baton Rouge upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit filed by eight felons and the nonprofit organization Voice of the Ex-Offender. At issue is language in the state constitution guaranteeing the right to vote, but allowing suspension of voting rights for those “under an order of imprisonment” for a felony. The lawsuit claims felons on parole or probation are no longer under an imprisonment order.Full Article: Court: Louisiana Can Deny Vote to Felons on Parole | Louisiana News | US News.
Convicted felons who are back in their communities are one step closer toward having their voting rights restored under a bill that passed a House committee on Wednesday. The House and Governmental Affairs Committee voted 7-2 in favor of a bill sponsored by Rep. Patricia Smith, D-Baton Rouge, that would allow a felon under community supervision to vote if the individual had not been incarcerated within the past five years. Currently, ex-convicts cannot vote while on probation or parole.Full Article: La House passes bill to restore voting rights back to convicted felons.
Louisiana’s elections will be getting a face-lift over the next few years, with plans underway to replace the state’s decade-old bulky voting machines with sleeker, smaller equipment and beefed-up technology. The request seeking proposals from contractors for new voting machines went out this week, with bids due May 1. The solicitation went out as Secretary of State Tom Schedler learned Louisiana is getting a nearly $6 million federal grant to cover a portion of the costs. The state last purchased voting equipment in 2005. This time, Louisiana will be shopping for new equipment as concerns about cybersecurity threats are heightened and hacking worries have consumed election discussions – and as the state is struggling with repeated financial problems.Full Article: Louisiana starts process to replace 10,000 voting machines | WWL.
A Baton Rouge-based state appeals court wrestled Tuesday with the thorny legal question of whether felons on probation and parole should be allowed to vote in Louisiana. Attorneys for the state and a group of felons challenging current Louisiana law debated the phrase “under an order of imprisonment” before a three-judge panel of the state 1st Circuit Court of Appeal at the LSU Law Center. The 1974 Louisiana Constitution bars people “under an order of imprisonment” for a felony conviction from voting. A 1976 state law that is under attack expanded the definition of that phrase, saying felons on probation and parole cannot vote. Bill Quigley, who represents a group of felons who challenged the 1976 law, argued Tuesday that the plain language and meaning of “under an order of imprisonment” should control the outcome of the case.Full Article: Louisiana appeals court hears felon voting rights challenge | Courts | theadvocate.com.
This week, an interest group and LSU will hold a conference dedicated to making Louisianans think that the sky isn’t blue. LSU’s Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs will host Fair Districts Louisiana to discuss changing the way the state draws up its electoral districts. The group criticizes the current process as excessively partisan. As things now stand, members of the Louisiana Legislature draw electoral districts for themselves, Congress, the courts, and the Public Service Commission. Some other interest groups across the country also think there’s a better way to redistrict than relying on state legislatures with the input of governors. This procedure, used by most states for decades, has produced lines favoring the party in power and/or incumbents in office just after the census every 10 years triggers a new look at how districts are shaped.Full Article: Jeff Sadow: Redistricting Louisiana's electoral districts is no cure-all | Jeff Sadow | theadvocate.com.
From voting rights for former felons to how election resources are spread out across the state, people sounded off on how they think elections in Louisiana could be improved. They spoke before the Louisiana Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which held its second meeting at the state capitol Wednesday. The panel’s goal is to collect input from across the state about barriers some people face to accessing the voting booth. That information will then be passed along to the federal commission, which will compile it with input from other states to create a national report. “If we’re going to be true to no taxation without representation, I think everybody in this country needs to be able to vote,” Norris Henderson told the panel. He’s the executive director of Voice of the Experienced (VOTE), an organization founded and run by former prisoners.Full Article: Louisiana panel collects feedback on voter rights - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports.