Louisiana set to receive millions of dollars for new voting machines

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana is one of several states set to receive new voting machines, thanks to a bill recently passed by Congress.

According to the Louisiana Secretary of State's office, the Bayou State is set to receive almost $6 million from the Election Assistance Commission because of the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018.

The act allocates unused money from the Help America Vote Act to be used to purchase voting equipment.

"Louisiana, like many other states, purchased our voting equipment back in 2005 when HAVA dollars were first sent to states," said Secretary of State Tom Schedler. "Secretaries of State from across the country have been fighting for this final allocation of funding in light of recent security concerns, including hacking threats, brought to light during the 2016 Presidential Election cycle. While this money will not cover the full cost of replacement, it certainly provides a strong infusion of welcomed federal funding without strings attached that will be pooled together with state funds to better secure and update our process."

The Secretary of State's office reported Louisiana has released a Request for Proposals for new machines across the state. The office added it is looking to replace about 10,000 early voting and election day voting machines. They hope to get touchscreen models that are smaller, more secure, and provide a voter-verified paper receipt.

Schedler added they are looking to replace all early voting machines five parishes at a time starting this year and then do the same with election day voting machines.

They hope to finish by 2020.

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