Louisiana state elections officials were forced to withdraw plans to purchase new voting machines to replace outdated systems after Republican politicians and public commenters contaminated the proposal process with unfounded accusations about Dominion Voting Systems and electronic machines in general, the New Orleans Advocate reports.
Kyle Ardoin, the Louisiana Secretary of State, said he was forced to abandon the RFP process because Dominion, one of the top three proposed vendors, was getting undue scrutiny by Republicans in the state and the other two potential suppliers objected to aspects of the RFP that would compromise trade secrets. Last week, he rescinded his budget request to the state’s legislative budget committee to allot funds for new machines.
“I think unfortunately those folks who are rooted deep in conspiracy theories may not accept what we provide to them in terms of transparency,” Ardoin said in an interview. “But at the same time it’s gotten more folks involved in the process, asking questions. And it is our job to answer these questions and to provide evidence of what we’re doing right. Now it’s up to the Legislature to determine the future of the election system in Louisiana and what we can afford and where we’re going to head. And I’ll be glad to participate in that discussion.”
Republicans across the country have taken up opposition to using Dominion machines in elections based on untrue and debunked accusations put forward by Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and others that Dominion machines intentionally miscountd or flipped ballots for Trump to ensure he would lose the November 2020 election. No evidence of such malfeasance has been found, and hand recounts of votes have verified the accuracy of the results.
Dominion has filed multiple lawsuits for billions of dollars against media outlets and Trump legal representatives such as Giuliani and Sidney Powell for perpetuating these lies and harming Dominion’s long-term business opportunities domestically and internationally.
The Louisiana contract alone, for example, would have been for $100 million, but Republican lawmakers had already questioned the inclusion of Dominion in the bidding process.