Louisiana– Louisiana issued a request for proposal for contractors to supply new voting machines. The state is receiving $6 million in federal grant money to help complete the project. The project is estimated to cost anywhere from $40 million to $60 million. There is a need to allocate additional funding for this project in next year’s budget. The request for proposals is wide open but likely will not consider anything that has a Wi-Fi or other internet connection. With past elections being vulnerable to hackers, Louisiana believes the safest voting booths are those that have limited connectivity and point of entrance.
Features of the new machines should include a touch-screen-style system to be placed on stands or tables. Those style machines will be easier to store and will provide a voter-verified paper receipt for any post-election recounts to make it easier for auditing. The hope is to have the voting machine contract awarded by June 30 and all the equipment replaced, through a phased-in process, by 2020. This project is very timely as the antiquated machines used for early voting are currently running very low on spare parts to keep them operational.