LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Early voting is just a month away, and, after concerns of Russian interference during the 2016 election — what’s being done here in Louisiana to protect our election process?
Kyle Ardoin, the Louisiana Secretary of State, said his office has been working day in and day out to protect upcoming elections by updating software on all voting machines.
“We also leased all new early voting equipment where they were running on the windows 7 platform, so now we’re windows 10 platform for the early voting machines. We’re really confident about what we’ve done to secure our elections and be sure our votes are counted accurately," Ardoin said.
Although there were concerns about hacking in 2016, Ardoin said Louisiana’s voting machines weren’t vulnerable then and they aren’t vulnerable now.
“They’ve never been connected to the internet, the programming has never been connected to the internet. What we do in Louisiana is different from other states. We program our own voting equipment so we do have a controlled system there," Ardoin said.
Ardoin said another way to protect votes is to ensure voters are educated and cautious about what they read online.
“We’re asking folks to get information from trusted sources, like the Secretary of State’s Office, their Clerk of Court or the registrar of voters,” Ardoin said.
This is why, during election season, Ardoin said they’ll be monitoring social media.
“What has happened is the Russians are using fake accounts on social media and they’re creating discord. They’re creating questions about our election processes. What we’re asking folks to do is to understand that that’s whats going on in the American psyche right now, and that they need to trust democracy and need to trust elected officials," Ardoin said.
Ardoin said if any voter has question surrounding elections, to reach out to his office.