Request for Proposal issued for new voting machines for Louisiana

People voting in Louisiana.
People voting in Louisiana.(Source: WAFB)
Published: Jan. 27, 2021 at 9:29 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A Request for Proposal (RFP) has been issued by the Office of State Procurement to secure new voting equipment.

This new voting equipment will replace the approximately 10,000 machines that are currently in the states stock.

While the machines have not caused major incident, they are nearing the end of their lifespan. The Office believes that new voting equipment will continue the confidence that Louisiana voters have.

“I am excited to begin the RFP process” Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin said. “While the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the release of this RFP, we are excited to begin the process of bringing the best voting technology to Louisiana and continuing our tradition of delivering safe, secure, accurate and transparent elections.”

According to the Louisiana Department of State, voter confidence is the main reason behind the RFP. The RFP will allow Louisianans to continue their preference of in-person voting. It will also continue the state’s accurate and timely reporting of election results on election nights.

Some of the specifications of the RFP are as follows:

Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT): A VVPAT system provides voters with the peace of mind that their vote is recorded accurately by allowing them to verify their vote on paper before casting their vote electronically on a voting machine. This feature will also enhance the continued accuracy of state elections by providing a mechanism for a full paper audit of each election.

Background Checks For Those Working On Project: This security measure requires proposers to disclose background checks and security training protocols for all employees who would be working on this project. This requirement is a security measure to prevent nefarious individuals from coming into contact with Louisiana’s election system.

Disclosure Of Foreign Ownership: Proposer must disclose any foreign ownership and if there is any foreign ownership, provide a detailed plan that ensures the foreign entity cannot control, influence, or direct the company in any manner that would compromise or influence, or give the appearance of compromising or influencing, the independence and integrity of an election.

Disclose All Countries In Which The Proposer Operates: The proposer must disclose all countries in which their election system and equipment is used. Additionally, the corporate structure and ownership (e.g., publicly traded corporation, privately held partnership, nonprofit), all board members or any entity with more than 10% ownership in the organization, and any ownership in the company by foreign persons or entities, regardless of ownership percentage, including but not limited to any citizens or residents of a country other than the United States must be disclosed.

Forbid Political Spending From Contract Funds: Contractor agrees not to use contract proceeds to urge any elector to vote for or against any candidate or proposition on an election ballot nor shall such funds be used to lobby for or against any proposition or matter having the effect of law being considered by the Louisiana Legislature or any local governing authority.

Follow All Applicable Laws: Proposal must be lawful. The proposed voting system shall meet all relevant requirements the Louisiana Election Code, Help America Vote Act, Louisiana Procurement Code, and Information Technology Procurement Code and any other relevant state and federal laws.

The state’s Request for Proposals for new voting equipment can be found online.

Responses for the New Voting System RFP will be accepted no later than 10:00 a.m. on March 24.

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