Three US states cancel membership in bipartisan group aimed at voter roll accuracy and registration News
Wikimedia Commons // Lorie Shaull // CC
Three US states cancel membership in bipartisan group aimed at voter roll accuracy and registration

West Virginia, Missouri and Florida Monday announced they will no longer participate as member states in the Election Registration Information Center (ERIC). ERIC was founded in 2012 as a bipartisan effort to “improv[e] the accuracy of America’s voter rolls and increas[e] access to voter registration for all eligible citizens.”

West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner cited issues with ERIC, claiming a board meeting in February was disrupted by people who did not pay the membership fee nor have the power to vote at the meetings. Warner explained how the interruption resulted in the board not passing procedures that would have prevented third-party influences from serving as members of the ERIC board.

Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd disclosed the termination of their membership was in response to the lack of protections available for confidential voter information. Missouri Secretary of State John Ashcroft explained they will no longer be members of ERIC for multiple reasons, one of which was ERIC’s refusal to mandate members to handle multi-state voter fraud.

On March 2, ERIC’s executive director released a statement, stating the organization follows certain protocols to ensure the confidentiality of private data and that it does not connect to a state’s voter registration system. Rather, ERIC receives the information from reports submitted by state election officials–namely the states’ departments of state, which are responsible for administering elections within the state.

ERIC provides information to states regarding people, who could be eligible to vote but who have not yet registered, to encourage states to get these people registered. As of 2022, ERIC estimated that there were more than 4.4 million people spanning 29 states that were potentially eligible to register to vote. ERIC currently has less than 30 member states and formed in 2012 in an effort to help states remind voters to update their voter registrations when information like their address changes and register more people to vote.

West Virginia, Missouri and Florida’s exits ERIC come after Louisiana withdrew its membership in 2022 and Alabama withdrew in January.