Louisiana state senators back bill to modify voting machine search

Louisiana would rework the way it shops for voting machines, under legislation that started moving forward Tuesday in the state Senate after two failed efforts to replace the state’s voting system ended in controversy.

The proposal by Senate Republican leader Sharon Hewitt would add new layers of legislative oversight, broaden the types of voting systems allowed and remove some decision-making from Louisiana’s secretary of state. The measure would create a commission to analyze and select the type of voting system that could be bought or leased, rather than the secretary of state.

The Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee, which Hewitt chairs, sent the bill to the full Senate for debate without objection.

Hewitt, of Slidell, says her proposal would offer “a much more open, fair, transparent and accountable process for securing voting systems.” She says it would give the general public more points in the process to offer thoughts before the bid solicitation begins.

Still, several people who repeated allegations of widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election say Hewitt’s legislation, while well-intentioned, does not do enough to address their concerns. They say they wanted the bill to require paper ballots and more clear public input on the voting system selection. Read the full story.