Secretary of State candidates battle over voting machine scandal
Posted on 10/9/2018 4:43:00 AM.

Several Secretary of State Candidates got combative yesterday after they were asked about controversy surrounding the bidding process for the state’s new voting machines.

Two of the three bidders for the contract say the process, won by Dominion Voting Systems, was rigged. Candidate, and Baton Rouge Representative Rick Edmonds, says an AP report raised serious questions about the integrity of the bid.  

“Two companies did not have the same advantage that one company did, so it became completely unbalanced. We cannot tolerate any more scandals in government, and particularly in the Secretary of State’s office.”

An AP report says The Office of State Procurement has removed Interim Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin from the bid evaluation process for the new voting machines

Opponents of Ardoin for the seat seized on the ballooning price of the voting machine contract as well. Candidate and Kenner Representative Julie Stokes says she’s incredibly concerned about the surprising, new price tag for the machines.

“(The contract is) 95 million dollars when what was talked about in budget (committee) was 50 to 60. I think it’s high time we have a new pair of eyes, and remove the scandal from office.”

The state received tens of millions in federal funds to assist in the purchase of new voting machines, and the securing of the state’s election infrastructure.

But Ardoin says those concerns are unfounded, and pointed to a 2005 bid that resulted in a lawsuit from one of the losing bidders as evidence that the two companies filing complaints are just trying to play politics with the bid.

“The other two companies aren’t happy about it because they lost the bid. They were 40 million dollars or more ahead of the cost of this one. We haven’t even negotiated it.”

Ardoin anticipates the state will negotiate the current 95 million dollar deal to a lower price.  

Secretary of State, Louisiana, 2018, election, Julie Stokes, Rick Edmonds, Kyle Ardoin, voting machines, scandal



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