Louisiana elections chief slams senator over voting machines

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FILE – In this July 20, 2018, file photo, interim Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, R-Baton Rouge, talks to reporters in Baton Rouge, La. On Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, Ardoin, Louisiana’s elections chief, proposed a scaled-back emergency plan for this fall’s elections that would modestly expand early voting amid the coronavirus outbreak, but still require most people to cast their ballots in person in the pandemic. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte, File)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin lashed out against the head of the Senate’s elections oversight committee after she helped to sink Ardoin’s voting machine replacement work.

Ardoin sent a letter Friday to Sen. Sharon Hewitt accusing her of irresponsibly disparaging his search efforts and damaging his agency’s reputation for running elections.

Both Ardoin and Hewitt are Republicans.

The letter comes two days after Ardoin scrapped his search for a company to replace 10,000 voting machines across Louisiana amid criticism from Hewitt, other Republicans and possible bidders.

Hewitt chalked up Ardoin’s letter to embarrassment about having to end a voting system replacement search twice in three years without new machines.

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