With a major election year approaching, Louisiana’s work to replace voting machines it bought 13 years ago has remained stalled for months, amid bid-rigging allegations, a voided contract award, and claims of political meddling.
Decision upheld to scrap Louisiana voting machine contract
The Louisiana secretary of state’s office will have to redo its work to replace the state’s decade-old voting machines.
Interim Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, whose office oversees state elections, has no immediate timeline for restarting the replacement effort as he waits to see if the cancelled contract award will prompt litigation.
That means there’s no schedule for when Louisiana will buy or lease new voting machines, as the state enters a big election cycle, with the governorship, six other statewide elected positions and all 144 state legislative seats on the ballot in October 2019.
Louisiana’s chief procurement officer found flaws with the bid process and scrapped the selection of Dominion Voting Systems to replace the voting machines, saying the secretary of state’s office didn’t follow legal requirements. A Dominion appeal was denied Wednesday.
Ardoin said in a statement he wants to get new voting machines “as soon as possible to continue to keep Louisiana at the forefront of election integrity and security.”
But Ardoin spokesman Tyler Brey said the office won’t determine how to move forward until it learns if Dominion will sue. Under state law, Dominion has two weeks from its appeal rejection to decide if it will file a lawsuit seeking to hold onto the lucrative contract award.
“Until they decide to do that or not do that, the process is not officially done,” Brey said Thursday. “The office is not going to put forward the plans for next steps until this system has run its course.”