The Secretary of State’s office has been warning the public
that Louisiana has aging voting machines that could fall apart, and now we have
a price tag for replacing them, $60 million. The feds have offered to
chip in with nearly $6 million to get the process started. Secretary of State
Kyle Ardoin says it’s not going to happen overnight.
“At best we are going to have $10 million moving into the
new fiscal year. Our real goal is to phase this in over a five year period and
replacing those at least in five parishes.”
Ardoin says that means thousands of machines will have to be
repaired or replaced.
“Our plan is to replace approximately 10,000 voting machines,
early voting machines and Election Day machines beginning this year.”
The office is still reeling from sexual harassment
allegations that led to the resignation of former Secretary of State Tom
Schedler. Ardoin worked closely with Schedler as First Assistant and says a new
culture of “if you see something, say something” needs to be enforced.
“Under my leadership, I signed into effect a new sexual harassment
policy, it includes additional training and we hold everyone accountable for
reporting improper behavior.”