BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Louisiana has been in need of new election day voting machines for years, but the process has been shrouded in public mistrust. The Voting System Commission was created to help with transparency in selecting a new system. On Monday, the public got a firsthand look at machines the commission will be deciding on.
Louisiana has been using the same Dominion voting machines since 2005. There was controversy over the Secretary of State awarding the contract to Dominion again. Some said the process was not fair and didn’t open the search up to outside companies.
“Our machines are old so they have got to be replaced,” Commission Member Misit Cordell said.
The public has been invited to talk about their concerns about the old machines and what they would like in a new one. The biggest wants to emerge are paper ballots and tabulators that don’t connect to the internet. Each meeting swirled in misinformation about elections being stolen or filled with fraud, but the message was clear through it all: the elections must be secure and there can’t be any chance of hacking.
“We need to be able to speak intelligently about this so that the public feels secure. We certainly want people to be able to vote and feel good about voting,” Cordell said.
Companies from all over the country came to show how their machines are the most effective and protect against any sort of fraud. Elected officials and election workers will get to weigh in on the decision.
“I want to see what they feel comfortable with, what they like in terms of whether they think their employees and their commissioners could operate well and easily,” Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin said.
The legislature has already put forward $10 million to buy the machines as well as federal funds already set aside. The Voting System Commission will be meeting on Wednesday to make their final recommendation to the Secretary of State so he can begin the process of buying these new machines. There will be a number of more public hearings to set the rules and guidelines of the new machines.
The public is welcome to view the machine options at the Capitol Park Museum on Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.