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Monday, April 24th, 2023

Baton Rouge, Louisiana


   Election officials across the country are being besieged over allegations of election fraud.  The major charge by those buying into the voter conspiracy is that voting machines can be and have been regularly hacked to manipulate state elections.  The pinnacle of the hacking claims is that President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has infiltrated voting machine software to control election outcomes.  I guess it does not matter that Chavez has been dead for many years.

   And how about the MyPillow guy Mike Lindell?  He has formed a new “weed out the election fraud” group that charges: “Most secretaries of state are corrupt and should all be replaced. They let our country be taken through computers.”

   Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin has had enough.  He said he’s had his fill of “pervasive lies that have eroded trust in our elections, by using conspiracies so far-fetched that they belong in a work of fiction.”  He then announced he would not be a candidate for re-election this fall.

   So what’s going on, particularly here in Louisiana?  Can state computers be hacked?  Can the election process be manipulated?  Is there widespread election fraud as many questioners like the MyPillow guy and others allege?  I may be a pretty good source to give you an opinion. I did serve for eight years as Secretary of State, the chief elections officer.  So let me go back a few years to tell you how elections were in my day.

   Elections in the 70sand 80s generally took place without a hitch.  When I first took office in 1980, there was so much public confidence in the elections process that the clerks of court shut down their offices when the polls closed. The only way the news media could report the election results was by having a stringer reporter hang out at the clerk’s office and write down the results as the court workers hand-delivered the ballot totals.  I changed this procedure by meeting with the clerks, and getting their commitment that they would call me in Baton Rouge at the Secretary Of State’s office to report the voting totals by telephone.

     Life seemed so much simpler then. My how our country has changed.  Unfortunately, manipulation of voting machines, widespread voter fraud, crooked elections officials, and foreign hacking have all become a rallying point for those who see conspiracies as our current election cycle rolls around.

   Alright, so how about now.  Are Louisiana elections rigged?  Can voting machines be hacked, particularly the new Dominion machines the Secretary of State is proposing that the state acquire?  According to every legitimate watchdog group and the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office, the answer is no.  And I would agree.  I just have seen no evidence that anything improper is taking place in the state’s election process.  The major criticism seems to be coming from candidates associated with former President Trump. But Trump carried the state by one of the largest margins in the nation.  And republicans picked up a number of new offices in Louisiana.

   The most recent validation of the system comes from the Fox News lawsuit settlement.  Commentators on Fox continued to allege voter fraud, and cited numerous problems in the use of Dominion voting machines that, according to these commentators, were easy to hack. But internal Fox texts and emails showed that they actually believed there was no such irregularities.  Just last week, Fox settled with Dominion for $787 million.  Fox also acknowledged that the Dominion machines were not hacked.  The new Dominion voting machines are under consideration now for possible use in Louisiana.

   Personally, it’s hard for me to buy into such schemes of election manipulation.  But we are living in a different world today where claims of crooked elections have become a way for candidates to raise campaign money. And like it or not, allegations of voting fraud will be a part of numerous elections across the country come this fall, including right here in the Bayou State.  So we better get used to it.

Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide. You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownla.com. You can also listen to his regular podcast at www.datelinelouisiana.com.









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