The state has entered negotiations to purchase 10-thousand voting machines from Dominion Voting Systems, Inc, but the price tag has increased to replace their current machines.
Interim Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin had projected the cost at $60 million, but he says the more realistic price tag is now in the ballpark of $90-95 million dollars.
“That is the initial numbers, we still have negotiations so hopefully we can be really efficient and bring down that cost.”
Ardoin has acknowledged one of the two losing companies bidding for the voting machine contract has expressed concern the selection process may be “rigged”.
“Two are going to be losers and one is going to be really happy. We always knew this was going to be contentious. It’s a highly competitive market because states invest every 15 to 20 years.”
Ardoin says the plan is for the state to replace early voting machines, five parishes at a time, starting this year. Phase two would include Election Day machines replaced in the same manner, with full implementation expected by 2020.
“We are looking at phase one being in the neighborhood of less than five million dollars or so. We are moving forward, we are excited about this opportunity and I think the people are going to be very happy with what they end up with.”