Secretary of State addresses Louisiana mid-term elections

Secretary of State addresses Louisiana mid-term elections
Angelina county elections office orders up to 20 thousand stickers for voters. (Source: KTRE)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - National Voter Registration Day broke records this year, with more than 800,000 people registering to vote.

With elections around the corner, the Louisiana Secretary of State's Office has been extremely busy.

"Working with the Department of Homeland Security, with the National Guard who also have security clearance and other local state parities to make sure we are prepared," Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin said.

Ardoin was appointed to the office in May. Since then, he says the office has worked to ensure the integrity of the mid-term elections.

"There’s been no issue regarding hacking this round,” Ardoin said. “There wasn’t in 2016 for Louisiana and we’ve stayed on the forefront of cybersecurity.”

Multiple allegations of hacking still surround the 2016 presidential election, but Ardoin says Louisiana machines are completely safe.

“Our voting machines are never connected to the internet, and the programming comp are never connected to the internet,” Ardoin said. “Only our employees in the Secretary of State Office program the machines, so there is no outside interest that are doing that, whereas that is done in other states.”

Just last week, the state procurement office denied a $95 million dollar contract after claiming they found flaws within the systems software. The machines would have replaced the states entire voting machine inventory, allowing voters to ensure they have casted the ballot of their choosing.

"Where you’ll be able to electronically record the vote, as well as on paper,” Ardoin said.

Ardoin says the state already has 83 percent of eligible voters registered. Over the last few months, he says their office has seen a rise in voters changing their party affiliation.

"The democratic registration has come down, republican registration has risen and independent registration has risen a little bit,” Ardoin said.

No matter the affiliation, Ardoin encourages people to come out and vote.

"Their vote is going to be counted, it’s going to be accurate, it’s going to be secure and the election is going to be fair," Ardoin said.

Early voting is from October 23 until October 30.

Remember to watch KPLC 7 News next week as we take a closer look at some of our local mid-term election candidates.

To find your local polling location, visit your parish’s county clerk’s website.

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