Last week, Louisiana Secretary of State, Kyle Ardoin, recognized several individuals including me (and Citizens for a New Louisiana) for our diligent research and ongoing information campaign about Louisiana’s election systems. He also recognized my service as a Commissioner on Louisiana’s Voting System.
Members of the National Association of Secretaries of States (NASS) are entitled to present up to five NASS awards annually to individuals they believe are deserving. This decision wasn’t made by NASS but by Louisiana’s very own Secretary of State. At his event, Ardoin presented four NASS plaques to Gena Gore, Roby Dyer, Misti Cordel, and myself (Michael Lunsford). It’s possible that there was a fifth person who could not attend. Gena Gore, Roby Dyer, and Misti Cordell have leadership roles in the Louisiana Federation of Republican Women (LFRW). Misti Cordell and I also served together on the Voting Systems Commission. Ardoin also presented certificates and appreciation to others as well.
Certainly, the possibility of receiving an award never occurred to me. In the beginning, I promised everyone (especially myself) that I wouldn’t get dragged into anyone else’s unstudied suppositions. Instead, I committed to follow my own research wherever it led. In this effort, I was very consistent. When notification of the award arrived some months prior, I knew immediately what its becoming public would mean.
Detractors and malcontents
Throughout the awards presentations, Ardoin referred to his detractors as the six percent (6%). Not everyone pays close enough attention to understand the significance of this word choice. So, let me explain. In yet another attempt for the detractors and malcontents to make Kyle Ardoin miserable, they put up their own candidate during the Secretary of State’s election. Despite working quite hard during the election campaign, their candidate finished second to last, receiving just six percent of the vote.
Everyone who received an award from Ardoin had at least this in common: they were viciously attacked by these six percenters. As the election drew near, this group employed those familiar, unsavory tactics used by hard-Left activists. These included (but were not limited to) attempting to take over numerous Republican Women’s and other clubs and various social media groups. They weaponized social media administrative privileges to ban detractors; especially those with knowledge of and experience in our election systems. Any social media groups where they were unsuccessful in acquiring administrative privileges were brigaded and ratioed.
While the six percent were busy censoring their critics, they actually had the chutzpah to say things like:
“Organizations Kyle was affiliated with have been confirmed to have censored the people’s voices who questioned authority.”
More on that in a moment.
Yes, our election system is working
Lately, this group has been pointing to the successful handling of the Caddo Sheriff race as “proof positive” that our entire election system is rigged. That race made statewide headlines because the Republican and Democrat candidates were separated by a single vote. An infinitesimal amount (six to eleven) of fraudulent ballots were cast, causing a lawsuit that eventually ordered a new election.
That there were fraudulent votes cast in an election is not all that uncommon. However, it made news this time only because it was within the one-vote margin of victory. Our system successfully and appropriately engaged and solved the problem. That made headlines, too. However, just the fact that it made the news was all it took for the six percenters to issue their mindless, “See I told you so’s.”
They’re big mad about the NASS award
NASS stands for National Association of Secretaries of State, which is nothing more than a trade association made up of the various states’ Secretaries of State. According to the six percent’s six degrees of separation conspiracy theory, NASS participated in censorship by working with CISA (the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency), a government agency created at the urging of Donald Trump. Because Kyle Ardoin was once the president of NASS, they say he was somehow complicit.
As “proof” of Ardoin’s involvement, they cite Missouri v. Biden. There are a few really big problems with that spurious logic, though. Our good friend, Jill Hines of Health Freedom Louisiana, is a plaintiff in that lawsuit. She’s kept up with it and has yet to see anything implicating Kyle Ardoin, or any other Louisiana elections official for that matter. Not only that but she’s also checked in with her attorneys, who have confirmed that she didn’t miss anything.
To make matters worse for the six percenters’ theory, NASS is not even a named defendant in the Missouri v. Biden lawsuit! However, pointing out that their narrative, while compelling, is completely devoid of facts or logic will immediately draw their ire. Rather than producing data to back up their claims, they hurl vicious verbal assaults or worse. At one point, their inability to win arguments with facts and logic caused them to brag about trying to get detractors fired from their jobs.
Echo chambers and debunked urban legends
Banning (or frightening into silence) opposing voices creates echo chambers. It’s similar to the rumor game, where one child whispers something into another child’s ear, who then passes it along to the next child. Like a fishing story, it gets better with each retelling. Here are some examples we’ve curated from numerous different social media chat groups, regarding Kyle Ardoin issuing these awards. They start in one main group from which they’re distributed to all others. If anyone has sufficient pluck to question the validity of these speculations, they’re immediately brigaded and ratioed by other members of the original group.
“It’s funny how ML can praise Jill Hines for being the MO vs Biden Lawsuit on Censorship savior, but reveled (sic) in the actual discovery was that NASS was participating in that censorship portal since 2018, but then goes on and gets an award from NASS???? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what’s truly going on. This isn’t hearsay but actual facts the Hayride needs to address.”
So, again, NASS hasn’t been named as a defendant in the lawsuit they’re citing. Also, the award is not from NASS, but from the Louisiana Secretary of State, Kyle Ardoin. Then, of course, there’s stuff like this,
“Misty (sic) and Michael are apparently receiving the awards-for being traitors to their country.”
This false accusation is made repeatedly despite numerous corrections issued by plaintiffs and attorneys connected with the lawsuit. While telling (yet again) that there is no proof that any Louisiana elections official has even requested to censor anyone, one HFL director said, “I subscribe to this little notion that one is innocent until proven guilty. I’m not going to trash someone and their reputation based on a hypothetical question.” The answer from the six percenters?
“I agree. It’s disgusting for ppl to trash others without any evidence to back up.”
And yet this censorship sophistry was immediately repeated in the same group and remains the crown jewel of their entire repertoire. Is it any wonder that only six percent are listening to them?
“Why would anyone who is a true, patriotic American accept an award from from a group that has been complicit in the cencosrhip of American citizens?”
Still fighting ghosts from the past
In addition to these vicious personal attacks, the six percent have continued to re-fight a battle that was won nearly three years ago. I’m convinced of this because one six percenter insisted (gleefully) that a question be posed to me. That question was regarding the Caddo sheriff’s race mentioned earlier:
“Ask him what percentage of the votes in that race are able to be audited per the voter’s intent. He won’t admit that the machines can’t be audited for voter intent.”
The fact that our current Election Day machines can not be audited for voter intent is not in dispute. It’s one of the reasons Kyle Ardoin has been working so hard to replace them. Since taking office, he’s tried (numerous times) to replace these antiquated DRE (Direct Recording Electronic) voting machines with a system that uses some form of voter-verified paper audit trail. Back in 2021, with Ardoin’s encouragement, Valarie Hodges and Sharon Hewitt each crafted legislation to accomplish this goal. The two bills were eventually combined into Senate Bill 221, which became Act 480, signed into law by Governor Edwards. That bill requires Louisiana’s next voting system to have auditable voter intent on paper. The six percenters were excited about this bill at the time and even participated and encouraged its passage! Now they have conspicuously forgotten all about it.
So, in answer to this completely ridiculous, unstudied accusation, this problem was solved in 2021. Due to public bid laws, no one person can just snap their fingers and replace the entire voting system in thirty minutes. In fact, under Hewitt’s Act 480, the Secretary of State’s office doesn’t even get the final say on the winning vendor. By law, that process requires real-time oversight from the legislature.
We don’t even have proposals yet
The next step in this process is to solicit proposals from vendors. However, the six percenters are already convinced that the new system is compromised.
There should be no confusion about what’s going on here.
WE are right about elections. Nancy Landry, Kyle, Michael Lunsford, and anyone else promoting this system is 100% wrong. They’re being rewarded for it. I’d love to know the payoff.
There is too much evidence at this point to continue to believe they just don’t know any better.
They all know what we know.
Apparently, they are not thinking about their children, and their children’s children.
It’s completely disgusting.
What system? We don’t even know who will respond yet! How can they say the new system is rigged when no one even knows what will be proposed or by whom?
By the way, the selection of a new voting system continues to be an open process. Legislative oversight to selecting a new voting system will most likely come from the House and Senate Governmental Affairs committees. The six percenters will still be able to show up to committee meetings and express any remaining concerns. Blank Page Cortez and Clay Shakedown Schexnayder will be replaced by Cameron Henry and Phillip DeVillier by then, Liz Murrill will be AG, and Jeff Landry will be governor. What’s the problem?
Can’t we all work together like we used to do?
Look, I know almost all of these people. At some point in the past, they were reasonable. We all claim to want the same things: improvements that make our election system more reliable, more auditable, and more secure while being just as fast. The solution to all of these things is within our grasp. We all worked together to get Act 480. That was the road map you and everyone else agreed to – even regardless of political affiliation.
There’s still time to fix that 25% foreign-adversary ownership amendment that you slipped into the conference report (Amendment No. 30 on page 5) during the final moments of the 2021 regular session. However, as written, it’s the plan that you yourself helped to write. You don’t need elaborate hoaxes and poor judgment to get what you want because this is your bill. Once it’s ultimately carried out, you’ll finally be able to audit voter intent – which is what you keep clamoring for. The only thing I’m not understanding is why you six percenters waited until now to object to your own bill.