**Republican Nancy Landry Projected to Win Louisiana Secretary of State Race**
Projections indicate that Republican candidate Nancy Landry is set to defeat Democrat Gwen Collins-Greenup in the race for Louisiana secretary of state. With 68% of the vote, Landry has established a significant lead over Collins-Greenup, who currently holds 32% of the vote.
In the October primary election, the candidates were closely matched, with both receiving approximately 19% of the vote. However, Landry’s strong performance in the general election was expected, especially considering the Republican vote was divided among several candidates in the primary, including Mike Francis and Clay Schexnayder.
Nancy Landry, a former state lawmaker from Lafayette, has been serving as first assistant and second in command to Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin since 2019. Landry’s decision to run for the position came after Ardoin announced that he would not seek reelection. Ardoin’s choice was influenced by the pressure and scrutiny the office faced from far-right election conspiracy theorists. It is worth noting that Landry has also entertained such conspiracies in the past.
Collins-Greenup, an attorney and accountant from Baton Rouge, previously ran for the secretary of state office in 2018. Her unexpected entry into the runoff against Ardoin that year surprised Louisiana’s political establishment. Ardoin was interim secretary of state at the time.
The incoming secretary of state will have several responsibilities, including managing elections, business registrations, the state archives, and a few museums. However, one of the most pressing tasks for Landry will be replacing Louisiana’s aging voting machines. This task has become particularly challenging due to unfounded election conspiracies that have hindered efforts to upgrade the state’s outdated systems.
Secretary of State Ardoin attempted to purchase new voting systems twice, but both attempts were unsuccessful. In 2021, his last effort was derailed after election deniers launched a campaign to eliminate Dominion Voting Systems, the current vendor, from the competition. Dominion has faced baseless claims of machine hacking, prompting the company to take legal action against individuals making false allegations.
Ardoin eventually distanced himself from the conspiracy crowd and opted not to seek reelection. In a statement, he expressed hope that Louisianans would reject the lies and falsehoods that have undermined trust in the electoral process. Ardoin emphasized that the majority of Louisiana’s voters acknowledge the security and accuracy of elections, condemning the spread of unproven claims by a vocal minority.
To address concerns about election security, the Louisiana Legislature passed a law requiring the use of electronic voting machines that produce a paper trail. This could involve a hybrid system, such as machine-marked paper ballots or hand-marked paper ballots with machine scanners.
As Nancy Landry prepares to take office, the spotlight will be on her ability to restore confidence in the electoral process and navigate the challenges posed by unfounded conspiracy theories surrounding election integrity.
Original Story at lailluminator.com – 2023-11-19 02:33:23