Who is behind the effort to censor speech in Louisiana?
Guest post by Christopher Alexander
There isn’t a single reputable cyber-security expert in America who believes that machine-based voting systems are safe, or that bad actors probably haven’t perfected the art of electronic theft at this point. Alex Halderman of the University of Michigan is perhaps the foremost, but not the preeminent, election security expert to raise serious concerns. Haldeman testified before Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin’s Election Commission in late December 2021 about the gaping errors in electronic ballot marking devices (BMDs) used to record votes in Louisiana and several other states. Haldeman is on record Saying that machines can be hacked, and that he has been hacked repeatedly, it is only a matter of time before they are hacked by bad actors and the machines don’t even need to be connected to the Internet.
Ardoin has no basis for claiming apparent ignorance on the matter. Their continued failure to take concrete steps to transition to a secure, fully auditable hand-marked paper ballot system, whatever the cost or inconvenience, is inexcusable.
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Why is this so important? Every voter has a fundamental right to know that his vote reflects his intention and that his vote cannot be remotely manipulated to reflect a contrary intention. As long as BMDs remain the primary mechanism for recording our votes, there is no way Ardoin can credibly claim that our system is secure. It is a crucial theme of his campaign, yet one he is most keen to avoid. He has yet to explain to Louisiana voters why experts like Haldeman are wrong, or why he insists Louisiana elections are “safe and secure.” Voters can have confidence in our current system if they continue to misrepresent and fail to publicly commit to doing so Anything To suppress BMDs once and for all, he loses and he must lose. Of course, on Election Day he will be the beneficiary of a vulnerability he refuses to overcome in an election where he becomes president.
Despite publicly misrepresenting the facts regarding the security of our current voting apparatus, Ordoin owns the largest organization of Republican women in Louisiana, so mesmerized by the coherence of her public position. Louisiana Federation of Republican Women (LFRW) President Robbie Dyer recently presented Randy Russ, Ph.D., to every LFRW-affiliated Republican Women’s group in Louisiana. And sent a directive prohibiting him from speaking at his election integrity group. Events on issues with Louisiana’s voting system.
Dr. Russ, a Republican and former CEO of a major corporation, has spent countless hours analyzing the vulnerabilities of our system and consulted and worked with leading cyber experts. He and his team carefully analyzed electronic voting data in Louisiana from the 2020 presidential election. Russ, like Haldeman, is convinced that the system is seriously exposed. According to Dyer and LFRW, Russ is peddling “misinformation.”
In a move entirely consistent with the unconstitutional suppression of American speech ruthlessly imposed on conservatives by the federal government in reprehensible disregard for the First Amendment, LFRW decided on the best way to promote the core, Madisonian Republican value of free expression on a topic. Simply crushing the speech of a fellow Republican group is of public importance. There is no need to apply any alternative views. LFRW has effectively become Kyle Ardoyne’s school of electoral integrity on this matter, where his opinion, and his only opinion, can be expressed within its walls.
Ardoin, a career official paid by us, is welcome anytime to speak before LFRW and spout lies about how safe Louisiana’s voting system is and what a great job he’s done securing it, along with a hearty meal and photo-op. He slams the door without challenging him one iota. Now that’s a great show.
Meanwhile, there is no room in the Inn for a volunteer citizen election integrity group run by a former CEO of a major corporation whose sole agenda is to inform citizens of the massive flaws in our current voting system.
It’s a textbook example of why citizens in Louisiana and across the country are increasingly distrustful of establishment Republicanism, and why independent, highly motivated advocacy groups are springing up everywhere.
It is absurd to believe that Robbie Dyer woke up one January morning and independently decided that free and open expression on a matter of critical public importance was not a core Republican value after 200 years. It is even more absurd to believe that she did not foresee the damage she would cause to her organization’s institutional credibility among Louisiana Republican citizens, if it was public, in the form of already disgruntled members.
No, Robbie Dyer did not make this ill-advised decision. Dyer and LFRW acted at the behest of someone else. Dyer was instructed to take this action. If evidence develops that Ardoin is using the power of his office to suppress political speech in direct violation of the First Amendment, the issue takes on an entirely new political and legal dimension. It is good for those in power. If this is true, the violation becomes more serious with each passing day without a formal retraction by LFRW. Maybe he is Dr. He should apologize while in Russ.
The clock is ticking.