ERIC – A Voter Roll Maintenance System or a Left-wing Voter Registration Drive?

Written by Nancy Hayes

Given the ongoing national conversation about voter fraud and election security, it would be encouraging to know states are looking for an effective, nonpartisan solution, wouldn’t it? A majority of states have joined something called ERIC (Electronic Registration Information Center), a nonprofit established in 2012 as a consortium of states to help maintain our voter registration rolls, but don’t get too excited.

Judicial Watch, a conservative, nonpartisan educational foundation that promotes transparency, accountability, and integrity in government recently published a document entitled, “ERIC white paper.” Within the paper, the group wrote:

“There is NO requirement in ERIC’s bylaws that member states actually remove ineligible voters from their voter rolls, however, they are REQUIRED to contact POTENTIALLY INELIGIBLE Voters to update their record.”

That’s amazing, isn’t it?

So, let me get this straight. 32 states, including Illinois, are members of ERIC, but there is NO requirement that ERIC removes INELIGIBLE voters?

What’s the point of belonging to an organization that charges each state, including ILLINOIS, an annual fee of between $25,000 – $116,000 but doesn’t clean up our voter rolls?

Maybe that’s one of the reasons states are ending their membership in ERIC.

In the past year, five states – Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Missouri, and West Virginia have left or plan to leave ERIC. More recently, Iowa and Ohio have also announced plans to end their relationship with the organization.

Ohio has started to withdraw, with Secretary of State Frank LaRose stating in Politico,

“I cannot justify the use of Ohio’s tax dollars for an organization that seems intent on rejecting meaningful accountability, publicly maligning my motives, and waging a relentless campaign of misinformation about this effort.”

Maybe left-wing activists created ERIC to clean voter rolls “their way,” using “their rules.”  After all, ERIC is essentially a cleverly disguised, left-wing voter registration drive.

As always, the roots of a tree help us understand the fruit. In 2011, the Foundation to Promote Open Society (George Soros) gave $400,000 to ERIC. Then in 2012, the organization was funded with a Pew Charitable Trust Grant of $138,879. Finally, the main brain behind ERIC, David Becker, is the past Director of the leftwing, People For The American Way’s “Defend Our Democracy” Campaign.

So yes, ERIC absolutely IS a PARTISAN organization taking tax dollars from states to run a registration drive for eligible but unregistered (EBU) voters.

But where does the NVRA come in?

According to the NVRA (National Voter Registration Act of 1993), states are required by federal law to report to Congress how many ineligible voters they removed from their voter rolls. These are registered voters who failed to respond to an address confirmation request (usually a postcard) sent by the state board of elections, with the same voters failing to vote in TWO consecutive elections.

However, according to Judicial Watch, over the recent four-year reporting period, large counties in New York and California reported ERIC removed ZERO, ONE, or only TWO ineligible voters.

According to Gateway Pundit Robert Popper, who is Judicial Watch’s Director of Voting Integrity efforts:

“About 10% of Americans move every year. Those counties should generate hundreds of thousands of canceled registrations. There is simply NO WAY to comply with federal law while removing so few outdated registrations.”

A couple of examples include:

Sacramento County (CA): with over 1 million registered voters, they removed ZERO ineligible voters.

Nassau County (NY): with 1.1 million registered voters, they removed ZERO ineligible voters.

In fact, New York had sixteen counties that reported removing ZERO voter registrations.

What about Illinois, you say?

Illinois had sixteen counties that reported removing ZERO voter registrations. That’s hard to imagine based on the thousands of residents moving OUT of Illinois these days, right?

Remember, the NVRA requires states to “conduct a general program that makes a REASONABLE effort to remove the names of ineligible voters” because of death or change of address.

But we all know that’s not what’s happening, don’t we?

Wisconsin is a great example. Our neighbor to the north is an ERIC State with 7 million registered voters, but less than 4 million eligible voters.

Let’s go back to how ERIC works and take a deeper dive into understanding the processes behind identifying eligible-but-unregistered (EBU) voters.

States like Illinois provide voter registration lists and data from their motor vehicle database to ERIC. ERIC gets all data from Illinois including ACTIVE and INACTIVE voter files.

You might find it interesting that the ERIC membership agreement states,

“under no circumstances shall the member transmit an individual record where the record contains documents or other information indicating that the individual is a NON-CITIZEN of the U.S.”

REMEMBER, there is NO REQUIREMENT in ERIC’s bylaws that states remove ineligible voters from the voter rolls, HOWEVER, states are REQUIRED to contact POTENTIALLY INELIGIBLE VOTERS to UPDATE their records.

Let’s put that in plain English, shall we?

States are NOT required by ERIC to remove ineligible voters, but states MUST reach out to citizens who are NOT REGISTERED (EBU) and initiate contact with each and every possible EBU to get them registered.

In fact, the states must reach out to something like 95 percent of those EBUs within a certain time frame according to ERIC’s membership contract.

Now, I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a registration drive to me. A registration drive funded by TAXPAYER dollars and spearheaded by a left-wing partisan organization: ERIC.

Additionally, if you checked the data, you’d find 2016 and 2020 to be two of the years with the highest EBU registration. Coincidence? Of course not.

Surely you can see why some states are leaving ERIC. They are NOT required to clean up their voter rolls AND eligible-but-unregistered (EBU) voters are being registered with ERIC’s support.

But wait….there’s MORE. It’s called data sharing!

ERIC has close ties with CEIR (Center for Election Innovation and Research). It turns out David Becker, the same guy behind ERIC, left ERIC in 2016 to go establish CEIR.

CEIR works directly with ERIC “managing state voter rolls.” According to CEIR Research Director Erica Frazier, ERIC shares state-provided data with CEIR. In fact, CEIR compiles the list of EBUs for ERIC to give back to the states.

However, this list is also shared with mail services or third party vendors. And there is no provision in the state contracts with ERIC stating these lists or services can’t be “outsourced” to third party vendors, including CEIR.

That’s a major problem.

So, the real question is, “WHERE IS ERIC STORING OUR DATA?”

A recent article in Gateway Pundit shared that the Alabama Secretary of State, Wes Allen, tried visiting ERIC’s Washington, D.C. headquarters at an address listed on the organization’s website.

Imagine Secretary Allen’s surprise when he found no sign of ERIC’s offices at 1201 Connecticut Ave, NW Ste 600, Washington, D.C. It turns out this was a “virtual address” in the care of a company called Expansive. Then Shane Hamlin, executive director of ERIC, said the address was used only for mailing purposes. It turns out, ERIC has never had an office since its founding in 2012.

It’s just one surprise after another with ERIC, isn’t it?

They don’t assist states in cleaning up voter rolls, but hey, they do help provide lists of eligible-but-unregistered voters to help with left-wing, partisan voter registration drives. And what’s more, we’re paying for it!

ERIC – is it a voter maintenance system or a left-wing registration drive? I think the answer is clear.