BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – On Tuesday, thousands of Louisianans will cast their ballots for the midterm election. Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin doubled down on his message Louisiana’s elections are safe and legitimate.

After the 2020 election and the falsehood that the election was stolen spread, Ardoin was berated by election deniers with conspiracies of voting data being sent to other countries or the machines being hacked. Ardoin vehemently denies it.

“We go to great lengths to ensure that our elections are accurate and secure. Anyone who makes audacious claims about our citizens’ votes being sent to some foreign country or being flipped is just not telling the truth. I challenge them to provide a shred of evidence,” Ardoin said.

A number of different conspiracy theories have been thrown at Ardoin during Voting System Commission meetings. He has listened to them all and continues to ensure that Louisiana’s processes are checked and balanced.

“Despite what anyone says, our machines are never connected to the internet and never will be. Only my state programs and tests our machines, machine testing is a process that is open to the public,” Ardoin said.

He mentions Louisiana is ranked by a number of organizations to have high election integrity. When asked how to regain the trust in elections for those who are skeptical, he said the work is already being done.

“The more dialogue we have and the more questions we answer, I think we can get to the bottom. We’re not going to convince everybody but we’re certainly willing to convince those who are willing to understand what we do,” Ardoin said.

The state has been also searching for a new voting machine to replace the decades-old system. A committee decided on machines with an auditable paper trail. It’ll still be some time before voters see a new machine at the polls given the process for approval is still ahead.

“It’ll probably be finalized between the gubernatorial and the presidential. But then you have to start the implementation process and we probably would be on the borderline,” Ardoin said.

Ardoin expects a voter turnout for the midterm to be between 42-46% – which is about on average. Twelve percent of the eligible voters cast their ballots during early voting.