There is not one reputable cyber-security expert in America who believes electronic voting machines are secure, or that bad actors are not, probably at this very moment, perfecting the art of the electronic steal. Alex Haldeman from the University of Michigan is perhaps the foremost, but certainly not the only, renowned election security expert to express serious concerns. Haldeman testified before Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin’s voting Commission in late December, 2021 about the serious vulnerabilities of electronic voting machines, including the Ballot Marking Devices (BMDs) Ardoin has publicly stated will replace the equally vulnerable electronic voting machines currently in use in Louisiana.
Haldeman is also on record testifying before the US Congress that all electronic voting machines, including BMDs, are vulnerable to hacking, that he himself has repeatedly hacked into them, that it is only a matter of time before they will be hacked by bad actors, and that the machines do not have to be connected to the internet in order to be hacked. The universal consensus among the best cyber-security experts in the world is that no available BMD certified by the Election Assistance Commission is reliable. None. I urge you to visit www.lacag.org to view the abstracts from peer review literature submitted by these experts in order to corroborate this fact. It is a damning indictment of the machines themselves and of Kyle’s repeated insistence that our system is secure.
Ardoin simply has no grounds to claim plausible ignorance on this issue. His continued failure to publicly acknowledge the deficiencies of BMDs and to take concrete steps to convert to a secure, fully auditable hand-marked paper ballot system, no matter the cost or inconvenience, is inexcusable.
Why is it so important? Every voter has the fundamental right to know that his vote reflects his intent, and that his vote cannot be remotely manipulated to reflect a contrary intent. As long as electronic voting machines, including BMDs, are the primary mechanism of recording our votes, there is simply no way that Ardoin can credibly claim that our system is safe. It is the defining issue of his campaign, yet one that he seems most eager to avoid. He is yet to explain to Louisiana voters why experts like Haldeman are wrong, or why he continues to insist that Louisiana’s elections are “safe and secure.” If he continues to falsely claim that voters can be confident in the reliability of electronic voting machines, including BMDs, he will lose and he should lose. Unless, of course, he becomes the beneficiary on election day of the very vulnerability that he refuses to remedy, in an election over which he will preside.
Ardoin apparently has Louisiana’s largest organization of Republican women so convinced of the reliability of BMDs that it has officially banned any opposing viewpoint from being heard. Roby Dyer, President of the Louisiana Federation of Republican Women (LFRW) recently sent a directive that prohibits every LFRW affiliated Republican Women’s group in Louisiana from allowing Randy Russ, PhD, and his Election Integrity Group (EIG) to speak at any of their events about the problems with Louisiana’s voting system. EIG includes founding members John Scanlan, Christy Haik, Katie Alexander, and numerous other concerned Louisiana citizens. Haik and Alexander have both had their LFRW memberships revoked because they had the courage to object to LFRW’s blatant effort to censor vitally important speech on election integrity.
Dr. Russ, a Republican and former CEO of a major corporation, and his EIG team have spent countless hours analyzing the vulnerabilities of our system and have consulted and worked with prominent cyber experts. EIG also meticulously analyzed the electronic vote data in Louisiana from the 2020 Presidential election. EIG, like Haldeman and every other reputable cyber expert, is convinced that our system is seriously exposed. Yet, according to Dyer’s LFRW directive, the LFRW, EIG is pedaling “misinformation.” The directive specifically mentions certain members of EIG including Scanlan, Russ, and Haik. In falsely accusing EIG members of circulating “misinformation”, Dyer’s directive unfairly maligns not only EIG itself but the public reputations of the referenced individuals.
In a move perfectly consistent with the unconstitututional suppression of American speech being mercilessly inflicted on conservatives by the federal government in reprehensible disregard for the First Amendment, the LFRW has decided the best way to promote the core, Madisonian Republican value of free expression on this critical issue is to simply crush the speech of a fellow Republican group. No alternative opinions need apply. The LFRW has become effectively the Kyle Ardoin school of election integrity where his opinion, and his only, may be expressed within its walls.
Ardoin, a career bureacrat whose salary is paid by us, has an open invitation to speak before the LFRW and utter falsehoods about how secure Louisiana’s voting system is and what a great job he has done securing it, together with a hearty lunch and a photo-op. He will then hit the door, without having been challenged one iota on what he has said. Now that’s a good gig.
Meanwhile there is no room at the inn for a volunteer citizen election integrity group run by the former CEO of a major corporation whose only agenda is to inform citizens about the massive vulnerabilities attendant to the use of all electronic voting systems, including BMDs.
Why did the LFRW take this action? Did Roby Dyer wake up one January morning and independently decide it was a good idea to systematically prohibit open and free expression by fellow Republicans on an issue of critical public importance? Is it reasonable to believe that she did not foresee the damage such a move would cause to the institututional credibility of her organization if it became public, damage that is already being done in the form of disaffected members? Is it reasonable to believe that she did not foresee that her directive would unfairly disparage EIG and its members? I am highly skeptical on all counts.
It seems clear that this ill-advised decision was not made by Roby Dyer. Dyer and the LFRW acted at the behest of somebody else. Dyer was directed and/or encouraged to take this action.
If it turns out that Ardoin is using the power of his office- and there is evidence developing for this- to influence the suppression of protected political speech of private citizens in direct violation of the First Amendment, the issue will assume a new dimension entirely, both politically and legally, neither of which bode well for the incumbent. If this is in fact the case, Ardoin’s exposure becomes more serious with each day that passes without a formal retraction from the LFRW. The retraction letter should include a formal, public apology to Dr. Russ, John Scanlan, Christy Haik, Katie Alexander, and the numerous renowned cyber experts with whom they have worked to compile data and information about the flaws in our system that every Louisiana voter has a right to know.
The clock is ticking.
J. Christopher Alexander, Sr.
Louisiana Citizen Advocacy Group