Louisiana will receive 5.8 million dollars from the federal Election Assistance Commission to purchase thousands of new voting machines as part of a proposed 50 to 60 million dollar project to overhaul the state’s aging voting systems.

Secretary of State Tom Schedler says we have a looming crisis with our decade old voting booths.

“Our machines right now are right at 10, 12 years old. Those machines have not be manufactured for some time now, and nor have the parts. As the inventory of used parts decreases, it puts us in a precarious position.”

Bids will begin for the new machines May 1st.

Schedler says the new machines will function much like the older ones, but feature newer, crisper screens and be easy to set up.

“It’s going to be more like an enlarged Ipad connected to a pad. I think we all know the dangers there, especially in view of some of the issues that are currently out there.

Louisiana has not been mentioned as a state whose voting machines or election system were compromised during the 2016 election, but Schedler says state agencies are routinely targeted by hackers, which is why we need the new rigs.

“It’s been more of a, rattling the door knobs, by these hackers. Of trying to get in by walking the neighborhood to see what car door is open or what home is open.”

Schedler is aiming to complete the replacement project by 2020.

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