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The Latest: Voting machine vendor estimates up to $95M cost

August 9, 2018

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Latest on Louisiana’s voting machine contract (all times local):

3 p.m.

The company chosen by Louisiana to replace thousands of state voting machines estimates the work could cost up to $95 million, significantly larger than prior estimates.

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin’s office says Colorado-based Dominion Voting Systems provided that estimate during the bidding process. Previous estimates had been around $60 million.

Louisiana’s state procurement office announced Thursday that Dominion Voting Systems was the winning vendor.

Competing vendor Election Systems and Software raised allegations of impropriety in the bid process. The company says the secretary of state’s office issued voting machine standards only Dominion could meet.

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin said release of those standards was a mistake, and he withdrew them. He said in a statement Thursday he’s confident the process “has been fair and equitable for all bidders.”

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2:20 p.m.

Louisiana has chosen the company it wants to replace thousands of voting machines, selecting the vendor the secretary of state’s office was accused of trying to rig the selection process to assist.

The state’s procurement office sent letters Thursday announcing Colorado-based Dominion Voting Systems is the winning bidder based on “price and other evaluation factors.” Negotiations are set to begin for a contract estimated to be worth up to $60 million.

Competing vendor Election Systems and Software raised allegations of impropriety in the bid process. The company says the secretary of state’s office issued voting machine standards only Dominion could meet.

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin said release of those standards was a mistake, and he withdrew them. A new evaluation committee to review contract proposals was formed, delaying a decision previously expected in June.

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10 a.m.

Louisiana has slowed its work to replace the state’s decade-old voting machines and overhauled the evaluation team. The move came after one company vying for the contract accused the secretary of state’s office of trying to rig the deal for a competitor.

The contractor selection had been expected in June. But after the complaint was filed, the state procurement office scrapped the original evaluation committee and removed Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin from it.

Ardoin says he was involved in revamping the evaluation team and addressing the complaint. He says the reworked contractor selection process will be “good, fair and equitable for the people of Louisiana.”

The company that raised the allegations of impropriety, Election Systems and Software, wouldn’t say whether it’s comfortable the changes addressed all of its concerns.

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