Louisiana restarts process for selecting new voting system 

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Louisiana edged forward today with its latest effort to update the state’s voting system, with the convening of a new commission that will help choose the technology after receiving broader input than officials did during previous unsuccessful efforts to replace thousands of old voting machines.

Whatever voting system is chosen will have to produce an auditable paper record, unlike the current decades-old machines being used. Lawmakers, mainly Republicans, enacted the new requirements for the shopping effort and created the Voting System Commission to make recommendations before the bid solicitation can begin.

The 13-member commission includes lawmakers, elections experts, a cybersecurity expert and others who will analyze the type of voting system that should be bought or leased. Republican Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, the state’s chief elections official, was chosen as chair.

The panel is supposed to make its voting system recommendations by Jan. 31. After that, Ardoin’s office can begin its latest search for a new voting system through the public bid process. The last two attempts by the secretary of state’s office to replace the state’s 10,000 voting machines fell apart amid controversy about the bid solicitation. Read more.