‘LaPolitics:’ A closer look at election security, Ascension’s open seat

    Election security may have to become a talking point for Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, particularly if he has to make a real run for his job this fall. The topic may even surface as an issue in the governor’s race, especially if it starts receiving more media attention. A new study on election security needs from the Brennan Center for Justice spotlights Louisiana and suggests that many states may not have the resources to secure the 2020 presidential elections.

    Here are two graphs from Politico’s coverage that begins to frame the issue for Louisiana:

    “Key states still need federal help replacing old election equipment or upgrading it, according to a report out today from the Brennan Center, Alliance for Securing Democracy, R Street Institute and Pitt Cyber. Each of the six states they examined had unfunded needs in that area, per the report; Louisiana and Illinois in particular need systems that include a paper backup…

    Other issues identified: Alabama needs funds to develop cyber services for local officials, as does Arizona. Louisiana and Illinois share a need to address known cybersecurity vulnerabilities, while Louisiana shares with Oklahoma a need to develop strong post-election audits.” 

    —State Rep. Johnny Berthelot of Gonzales has decided to call it quits and will not seek re-election in the fall. While not an official candidate, Berthelot was considered by many to be a dark horse contender for speaker of the House. Instead, he has created an open seat in the lower chamber, one Republicans are expected to maintain. It should draw a packed field of competitors, but along the first to announce this week was Kathy Edmonston, who is currently a member of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. More names for the seat should surface soon. 

    They said it: “While everybody says there’s no place for politics—and it’s true—when lives and property are at stake, it is Louisiana. There’s always politics.”—Columnist Stephanie Grace, commenting on election politics and storm response, on WWNO-TV.  

    Jeremy Alford publishes LaPolitics Weekly, a newsletter on Louisiana politics, at LaPolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter, or on Facebook. He can be reached at JJA@LaPolitics.com.  

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