This blog was written by LWV employees Lilly McGee, Jeanette Senecal, and Adam Ambrogi
Ensuring elections are fair and equitable includes maintaining clean and accurate voter rolls.
The Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) is a nonpartisan membership organization comprised of state election officials from around the United States who have chosen to opt into ERIC, and the states that do so make up ERIC's funding. At this time, 26 states and Washington, DC, are members.
ERIC helps election officials with several tasks, including:
Updating voter rolls to reflect voter relocations and deaths;
Facilitating the registration of new voters; and
Improving the accuracy of state voter rolls.
ERIC's Achievements in 2022
The year 2022 was a showcase of ERIC's power. Throughout the year, ERIC identified:
Over 4.4 million potential new voters;
2.4 million people who moved between participating states and 7.3 people who moved within them;
200,000 in-state duplicates; and
65,000 deceased voters.
Unsurprisingly, in February 2023, Paul Pate, Iowa's secretary of state, described ERIC as a "godsend."
What’s Happening Now?
After more than a decade of bipartisan success, several states have recently resigned from ERIC. These include Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, and West Virginia. Arizona and Texas may be next.
Reporting has indicated that reactions to mis- and disinformation around the ERIC system have put undue pressure on chief election officials to resign. While the ERIC Board, comprised of Member states, took steps to address some of the concerns, both reliance on bad information and ongoing pressure has taken their toll.
Voters and voting rights advocates in the states that have resigned are left with several questions:
- How will their state ensure their statewide voter registration database is as accurate as it was before they resigned from ERIC?
- How will the state continue to identify and invite unregistered but eligible voters to register to vote?
- How will their state secure the same expertise and support it received through ERIC?
- How will their state ensure any new external contractors are equally committed to nonpartisan election administration?
Voters and advocates should demand answers to the above questions.
Where Does the League Stand?
The LWVUS supports voter registration systems, including list maintenance practices that are transparent, accurate, fair, and identify and reach out to unregistered voters.
While participation in ERIC supports state governments in their efforts to maintain accurate and inclusive voter registration systems, all state registration systems should:
Ensure that state agencies that engage in voter registration activities are fully and electronically integrated;
Establish clear lines of responsibility for adding, deleting, and updating voter records;
Establish clear procedures for using the information provided by other databases to supplement the information provided by voters, thereby helping to correct an application or update a record;
Provide security measures that prevent unauthorized access to the database, protect voters’ sensitive information, and require tracking and documentation of all transactions;
Establish clear processing guidelines to ensure procedures are followed uniformly throughout the state;
Ensure that the process is transparent;
Establish strong safeguards against erroneous purging that are clearly stated and uniformly applied, and provide notice to the voter before any purge; and
Give voters access to review and check their own individual voter records.
What Can You Do?
You can find out whether your state is a member of ERIC on their website.
To get involved in advocacy around your voter registration laws and policies, find and join your state or local League.
Join one of the 700+ state and local Leagues.
The Latest from the League
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