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BATON ROUGE, La.—R. Kyle Ardoin was formally sworn in today during a short ceremony at Louisiana’s Old State Capitol. Judge Yvette Alexander administered the oath of office to Ardoin who was flanked by his wife, the former Letti Lowe of Port Allen and his daughter, Abbigale.


Ardoin, a native of Ville Platte and a resident of Baton Rouge, ascends into the position of secretary of state during a critical time for the Department of State, especially in terms of elections. In attendance were family, friends, staff, elected officials and other familiar faces around state government.


“I stand before you today knowing the importance of the job that lies before me,” said Secretary Ardoin. “It’s a job that hits right at the heart of our nation’s democracy and our states’ rights. Elections. We are preparing for the mid-term congressional elections as we speak, with qualifying less than two months away,” he said. “At the same time, we are embarking on replacing our voting equipment in an effort to better secure our votes while providing voters with a quick and easy process in which to cast their ballot.”


Serving as first assistant secretary of state since 2010, Ardoin is well prepared to lead the agency and has the support of not only local election officials, but also his colleagues nationally. The National Association of Secretaries of State named Ardoin co-chairman of the coveted Elections Committee indicating he had the wholehearted support of both NASS President Connie Lawson of Indiana as well as his co-chair from New Mexico, Secretary Maggie Toulouse Oliver.


“Knowing that elections cybersecurity and technology upgrades are at the forefront of the work done in every state across our nation, I am honored to be able to engage at a national level keeping Louisiana ahead of the curve in terms of the integrity of our election process,” said Ardoin. “My intent is to provide for a smooth transition of power to a newly elected secretary of state this winter, handing over an agency that has not missed a beat or slowed down any of our efforts to provide excellent customer service.”


Secretary Ardoin will serve as Louisiana secretary of state until a special election can be held on Nov. 6, 2018 and Dec. 8, 2018 if a runoff is required. Ardoin has named to his executive team former Speaker of the House Joe Salter as first assistant secretary of state, Shanda Jones as undersecretary of management and finance and Meg Casper Sunstrom as deputy secretary for communications and outreach.


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