March 25, 2024

ERIC Aids Electoral Fraud

A leftist-created voter roll management system misidentified at least 168,000 people in Virginia as eligible to vote.

The Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) bills itself as a nonpartisan organization whose “mission is to help states improve the accuracy of their voter rolls” and “increase access to voter registration for all eligible citizens.” In fact, more evidence has emerged that exposes ERIC as little other than an organization designed to increase Democrat voter turnout and hamstring the cleanup of voter rolls.

The initial appeal of ERIC, created in 2012 by hard-left activist David Becker, was that it promised to help states clean up their voter rolls using a more efficient and cost-saving system, thereby ensuring greater election integrity. Election integrity is an essential component for establishing and maintaining trust in any democratic institution. Any whiff of voter fraud will only invite doubt in an election’s results.

The problem is that despite its claims, ERIC is less concerned about maintaining accurate voter rolls and more interested in getting what it calls the “eligible but unregistered” (EBU) people onto a state’s voter rolls. This is evidenced by member state agreements to send voter registration forms to those on the EBU list, which ERIC compiles.

Back in August 2022, our own Douglas Andrews observed: “What makes the ERIC system so destructive to voting integrity, though, is that it doesn’t manage voter rolls in the way we’d normally expect it to. That is, it doesn’t tighten voter rolls so much as it inflates them. Indeed, while ERIC was responsible for the purging of just three million ineligible voters from the nation’s rolls in 2020, the system identified 17 million new voters. And you can be sure that that trove of new voters didn’t come from rural areas or the evenly divided suburbs; it came from urban areas like Atlanta and Detroit and Milwaukee and Phoenix.”

The good news is that, as ERIC has been exposed as being little other than a left-leaning organization designed to increase Democrat voter rolls, a growing number of Republican-led states have ended their partnership with ERIC.

As of July 2023, nine states have left ERIC: Louisiana, Alabama, Missouri, Florida, West Virginia, Iowa, Ohio, Virginia, and most recently Texas. And thanks to Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin, Virginia remains free of ERIC’s grasp due to his veto of a Democrat-led bill that would have required the commonwealth to rejoin the dubious organization.

Youngkin had good reason to do so. “I have been explicitly clear about my affirmation of the legitimacy of our elections,” he said. “My focus is safeguarding Virginians’ private information and continuously improving an efficient, cost-effective voter registration system." He then noted that Virginia initially left ERIC due to "persistent management issues, improper data use, escalating costs, and the inability to meet statutory requirements for border state information sharing.” And those things have not changed.

Virginia left in part because, as Elections Commissioner Susan Beals explained, ERIC “expanded beyond that of its initial intent — to improve the accuracy of voter rolls.” And ironically, or perhaps tellingly, voter roll accuracy has actually gotten worse.

According to records obtained by the Public Interest Legal Foundation, ERIC “claimed at least [168,000] deceased, relocated, [or] ineligible people” as EBUs “for taxpayer-funded outreach in Virginia.” That is not a minor rounding error. Rather, that’s a number that can easily swing election results.

Furthermore, it appears that Virginia’s experience with ERIC is not an anomaly. PILF has found that other ERIC member states “show similar efforts — or none.”

As noted above, it’s clear that ERIC’s primary reason for existing is to register as many voters for Democrats as possible, but the notion that EBUs exist that have not yet had an opportunity to register is bogus. As the PILF report correctly contends: “Remember, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA), aka ‘Motor Voter,’ mandates that states like Virginia offer voter registration at DMVs. Meaning, every EBU fed back to Virginia has already said ‘NO’ to a voter registration offer. Everyone meeting these EBU criteria was submitted to Virginia officials for taxpayer-funded postcard outreach explaining how to register to vote.”

What ERIC is essentially doing is using a state’s records and funding in a get-out-the-vote drive for Democrats. Remember Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold’s “glitch” before the 2022 general election, whereby she sent out 30,000 registration postcards to noncitizens? Guess where Griswold got her list of erroneous EBUs. That’s right — Colorado is an ERIC member state, and Griswold, who happens to be a Democrat, chalked this up to a simple mistake. Make of that what you will, but the fact that a contact list of EBUs even exists is problematic. Private citizens themselves should be responsible for registering to vote, not the state.

Hopefully, more states will abandon ERIC. Contrary to its claims, this leftist organization has undercut election integrity rather than strengthen it.

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