Red States Nope Out Of Data Sharing To Catch Double Voters, Because That Is Like Every Person In Florida
Vote here, vote aqui | I thought this fit well into the life… | Flickr

Yesterday Republican secretaries of state in Florida, Missouri, and West Virginia demonstrated their deep and abiding concern for the integrity of elections by pulling out of the interstate organization that helps maintain voter rolls. Citing vague concerns about partisanship, the three states withdrew from the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), the non-profit partnership that helps states maintain their voter rolls by pooling information about voters who have died or moved, allowing deletion of duplicate registrations.

As NPR notes, the Florida Secretary of State claimed in January to have "used data provided by ERIC to identify approximately 1,177 voters who appear to have voted in Florida and in one of the other member states, in the same election" during DeSantis's performative crackdown on supposedly ineligible voters. And yet the state pulled out yesterday, mumbling about an "obligation to protect the personal information of Florida’s citizens, which the ERIC agreement requires us to share." But of course the compact has always required data-sharing — that's kind of the point. So perhaps the the real reason lies in vague insinuations about "limiting the power of ex-officio partisan members of the ERIC board."

As Politico notes, this is a reference to David Becker, a former leader in the Voting Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, who was instrumental in getting ERIC off the ground and remains an ex-officio member of its board. Becker went on to found the Center for Election Innovation & Research (CEIR), which distributed hundreds of millions of dollars from Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan's family foundation to register voters and ensure ballot access. CEIR features prominently in rightwing conspiracy theories about a stolen election, because apparently it is cheating to register voters in the park in urban areas or subsidize new voting machines in places where brown people might use them. So between his association with CEIR and his vocal pushback against claims that the election was stolen in 2020 and 2022, Becker was always going to wind up crosswise with the MAGA faithful.

But then Gateway Pundit got involved in January of 2022, and things got totally out of hand. Just days after the Stupidest Man on the Internet starting babbling inanities about ERIC and CEIR, Louisiana's secretary of state pulled out, noting "concerns raised by citizens, government watchdog organizations and media reports." And while former Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill noted that ERIC is the only way for states to identify duplicate registrations, his successor promised to and indeed did withdraw from the compact immediately upon taking office.

But could there be some other reason besides Becker for Republican states to want out of the program? Might there actually be some policy dispute aside from ranting by Jim Hoft and his merry band of glue sniffers?

Indeed there would! And leave it to Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft to say the quiet part out loud.

"ERIC focuses on adding names to voter rolls by requiring a solicitation to individuals who already had an opportunity to register to vote and made the conscious decision not to be registered," he huffed in the letter announcing his state's exit from the partnership. As Politico notes, this is a reference to the requirement that member states contact eligible but unregistered voters every two years to invite them to register. And civic participation is very much not Republicans' bag, baby. Because if you get minorities and young people voting, they can overwhelm almost every GOP gerrymander. And we can't have that now, can we?

Naturally Florida just used the ERIC database and refused to contact the eligible voters — YOLO. But no more, since Peepaw Knockoff Tweets told them it's not allowed now.

All Republican Governors should immediately pull out of ERIC, the terrible Voter Registration System that “pumps the rolls” for Democrats and does nothing to clean them up. It is a fools game for Republicans….And while these Governors are at it, GO TO SAME DAY VOTING, ALL PAPER BALLOTS, AND VOTER I.D. (VOTER IDENTIFICATION). Mail-In Voting ONLY for FAR AWAY MILITARY and those that are VERY SICK! PROBLEMS ON ELECTION’S SOLVED!

Trump routinely votes absentee, of course. But his edict has the force of law in the GOP, so look for a stampede to the exits by Republican secretaries of state as they flee the one organization that helped them prevent the very fraud and illegal double voting they are sure is allowing Democrats to steal elections.


[NPR / Politico / NPR]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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