The Problem with ERIC

The Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) was established in 2012 for the following purposes:

  1. To improve the accuracy of America’s voter registration rolls
  2. To increase access to voter registration for all eligible citizens

ERIC, as of 2022, is comprised of 31 states and DC who assist one another in comparing their voter data with crosschecks to various sources as the DMV, SOS, US Postal Service or SS death indexes. Politically, 11 are red and 19 are blue states. Michigan joined in Jan 2019 and was the 25th state to join.

ERIC located 17 million new voters for the 2020 election.

Who is behind ERIC?
• Pew Charitable Trust
• New Voter Project
• an “anonymous donor” ie Soros Open Society Foundation (Transparency and Integrity Fund)

In reality, what does ERIC actually do?
• Mandates that states contact at least 95% of people not registered to vote within 90 days of receiving this list from ERIC to solicit them to register
• However, under ERIC’s FAQ it says: ”At least once every two years Members are required to send voter registration info to potentially eligible residents who are not registered to vote….”
• Does NOT mandate that voter rolls be purged. States are only “encouraged” to update their voter lists once a year. ERIC only sends updated data lists every 425 days whether it is requested or not.

Unless states specifically ask for it, updated data from ERIC is not received. When and how often has Michigan asked for this data?

Who pays for continued ERIC operations?
States pay an initial fee to join ERIC of $25,000. Thereafter, they continue to pay annual dues ranging from $16,000 to $74,000.

What data does ERIC collect from member states?
Information from voter registration and motor vehicle licensee data:
• names
• addresses
• date-of-birth
• last four digits of SS number
• When you voted/how you voted
• your current voting record status
• your phone number
• you email address

Date of birth and last four digits of SS numbers are protected (anonymized) by hashing applications which is converting info into an indecipherable string of characters so it is unreadable and unuseable to potential hackers.*
In total ERIC requires 11 pieces of data every 60 days. All of this data makes for fewer false matches.

What reports do states receive from ERIC?
• who has moved within their state
• who has moved out of state
• voters who have died
• duplicate registrations
• potentially eligible voters not yet registered.

States may request the following:
• voters who voted twice in prior federal election
• voters who voted in more than one state in the prior federal election
• voters who voted in behalf of a deceased voter in the prior federal election

Purported advantages of ERIC?
• less returned mail
• fewer provisional ballots on election day
• shorter lines at polls
• less law suits because of bloated voter rolls

*ERIC only accepts voter and driver’s license data files that have been subject to hashing applications. This ensures these sensitive data are protected at the source, in the member’s environment, prior to submission to the ERIC data center. A cryptographic hash is not meant to be decrypted so ERIC does not receive this information in clear text and does not restore it to the original values. To further strengthen the security around these data, all records are run through a second hashing process using different parameters once inside the ERIC environment. ERIC uses a hashing module provided by IBM, in conjunction with Senzing.

What would it take for Michigan to exit ERIC?
• Written notice to ERIC of resignation

How bloated are the voter registration rolls?
• ERIC was created because more than 1.8 million deceased individuals were listed as voters and roughly 2.75 million people had duplicate registrations in more than one state according to ERIC’s FAQ’s.
• According to Judicial Watch, from a Sept 2020 study, 353 US counties had 1.8 million more registered voters than eligible voting-age citizens (ie, exceeded 100% of eligible voters). This is based on a 5 yr estimate of the population for American Community Surveys (ACS) of the Census Bureau, from 2014-2018, which is more reliable than a decennial census.
• If states excluded their “inactive voters” from their data, then state voter registration lists are probably much larger. An inactive voter may have moved but still may be registered and may show up and vote on election day or per mail-in ballot.
• A federal lawsuit was filed in Nov 2021 against the Michigan SOS because the states voter rolls include more than 25,000 dead people, including names of more than 20,000 individuals who have been dead for more than a decade. PILF alleges that Benson violated section 8 of NVRA of 1993. This federal law requires that states “conduct a general program that makes a reasonable effort to remove the names” of voters who have died. PILF sought to inspect Michigan’s records under provisions of the NVRA, but SOS Benson refused them access.
• It was acknowledged before the 2020 election by SOS Benson that 500,000 absentee ballot applications were returned between May and August of 2020 for reasons that included individuals who may have died or moved, but any outdated names could not be removed from the voter rolls until after the Nov 3 election as federal election law prevents list maintenance 90 days before an election.
• In eight states enrolled in ERIC, the combined average registrations for their states exceeds 100%. Michigan is one of the eight.
According to Judicial Watch, in Michigan 69 out of the 83 counties have more registered voters than eligible voters.
• In 2020, Michigan- the number of registered voters was 105% of all voting- aged residents- first time in it’s history.
• On average, each precinct should lose about 10% of its registered voters as about 10% of Americans move every year.

Why does it matter if voter registration rolls are bloated?
• Phantom votes can be linked to names on registration rolls of people not voting because they moved or are dead.
• A form of election identity theft.

How effective have member states been in using ERIC information to clean up voter rolls?
Not good to variable. Here is a sample:
Illinois- 16 counties in past four years with no voter registrations removed Oregon- 14 counties with less than 5 voter registrations removed in last four years
Pennsylvania- 18 counties with only 15 ineligible voters removed in past two years
Kentucky- 48 counties with more registered voters than citizens over age 18 Colorado- Judicial Watch won federal law suit against Colorado- for 40 out of 60 counties with registration rates exceeding 100%
Louisiana- terminated their ERIC membership
Wisconsin- did not remove 234,000 outdated registrations even after lawsuit by Wi Institute for Law and Liberty. However, they did remove 205,000 voters in July of 2021.
Virginia- from September 2020 through August 2021:
• 293,894 voters were mailed a cancellation request mailer at their out-of-state
address
• About 114, 898 voters were cancelled after registering to vote in another state
during this time period.-
Michigan– Public Interest Legal Foundation sued Detroit over dirty rolls but dropped the suit when Detroit made inroads in cleaning up their voter rolls.
Detroit had 106% voter registration rate
• 2,503 dead registrants
• 4,788 duplicate or triplicate registrants
• 16,465 registrants with missing dates of registration from city records
Jocelyn Benson only removed 177,000 inactive voters from voter
rolls in 2021 after losing a lawsuit with the Honest Elections Project

Does ERIC help clean voter rolls of non-citizens?
No.
It’s bylaws state that member states are not to transmit info concerning whether an individual is a non-citizen of the US.
• Noncitizens are automatically registered to vote when they have a transaction
with the DMV (SOS).

Does failure to clean up voter rolls violate the law?
Yes
Violates the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) which is federal law. It requires that states
make a “reasonable effort to remove ineligible persons from the voter rolls….”

What was in place to clean voter rolls before ERIC and why was it terminated?
Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck (IVRC)
It was sued by the Kansas ACLU to get it to shut down. It was alleged that there were security breaches, and racial biases. IVRC mistakenly exposed the private info of 1,000 Kansas voters. It was also alleged that 200 legitimate voters were removed for every one illegitimate voter.
It is claimed that ERIC follows extensive security protocols as opposed to Crosscheck which emailed sensitive voter data and passwords back and forth and stored it all on an unprotected server.
The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 opened the door for federal money and input to be funneled into state election processes

ERIC has primarily been used to increase registration of voters and not to clean the voter rolls. Evidence for this?
• “In Michigan, 700,000 individuals will receive cards from SOS to encourage
registration, thus showing an increase of names in the QVF from Sept 21-Oct 20″. Right before the November election! (This was from a MBOE News Update, Tue, Sept 8, 2020).

What does the opposition say in support of ERIC?
Helps remove ineligible voters from registration rolls because:
• concerns about fraud (though little evidence to show it causes unlawful
voting)
• Inaccurate voter rolls causes problems for political campaigns which rely on
accurate registration rolls to reach potential voters

What is being done about bloated, inaccurate voter registration rolls?
A federal lawsuit was filed March 2022 against the Mi SOS for failure to clean the voter rolls of 25,000 dead people including more than 20,000 individuals who have been dead for more than a decade.
ERIC has not filed an annual report since 2017.

What is the procedure for cleanup of voter rolls in Michigan?
New voter registration is matched against the DL database or SS database There is an automated data validation process synchronizing address records continually between the state DL file and the QVF.
Local election officials use NCOA data to identify individuals whose addresses may have changed.
Michigans DL file receive ongoing death record updates from the state Dept of HHS and SS administration. These records are then passed regularly to the state QVF.
SOS notifies each county clerk of any death notices.
Every month, county clerks provide city and township clerks with a list of persons who have died. https://www.nass.org/sites/default/files/reports/nass-report-voter-reg- maintenance-final-dec17.pdf
Info provided from ERIC has to be acted upon by state officials. It may be a long time before a persons name is removed from the voter rolls as a forwardable email needs to be sent to them. If they do not respond to this email and if they do not vote in two succeeding federal elections, then they should be removed. So, there will always be some amount of “bloat” due to questionable registrations in the state voter rolls

What about posting the names of those who voted after each election for the public to self monitor themselves?

What alternatives are there to ERIC?

  1. FPEIS (Fractal Programming Election Integrity System)- a voter registration system
    • Uses micro app buttons to look for voters sharing same phone numbers,
    addresses, certain ages, etc
    • Looks for unusual registration “addresses” ie hotels, churches, RV parks,
    nursing homes, dorms, rehab centers, prisons, UPS and USPS locations, etc.
    • compares databases to each other instantly
    • this represents MBE (management by exception) ie only reports deviations
    from the norm
    • FP can monitor who is registered and who cast ballots.
    • FP can expose registration added right before elections and report if they are
    removed within days after the election.
    • FP can provide comparison data between county voter rolls and state voter
    rolls
    • FP can identify voters who may have voted in two or more states- hasn’t
    been fully implemented nationwide yet
    • FP can notice jumps in Voter ID sequencing, which might lead to backfilling
    by fraudsters.
    • Using “placeholders” for a registration date is viewed by FP as a horrible
    practice. It should be banned. In Wisconsin, over 550,000 voters had a
    registration date of 1918. After 16 years, this had not been fixed.
    • The only way to currently access FPEIS is by volunteering with a regional or
    national voter integrity group or a political campaign.
    • They need donor funding!
    • 13 states currently are using FP, 14 more expected soon.
  2. Congressional HR 2115
    Would require states which issue new DL to have new residents surrender their former licenses and for the new state to notify the former state of the change in residence
  1. Suggestions from Professor David Clements-
    • Don’t try and clean the voter rolls, PURGE them completely
    • Make everyone show up with an ID to re-register at the county level
    • Put the control of the voter roll in the hands of the local county officials, not
    the state
    • No third-party updates to the voter roll. Good bye ERIC. Good bye NGO’s.
    • The SoS receives a read only copy of the county voter roll for backup

Questions to ask legislators on election related committees and the SOS
• How many times in a year did Michigan request data from ERIC?
• How much did it cost to obtain data prior to ERIC? ie NCOA data maintained
by the postal service, SS death index, etc.
• How efficient is database sharing within Michigan to allow voter roll
maintenance?
• How many voters were removed from the voter rolls in 2021?
• How many new voters were registered?
• Is Michigan currently using FP?
• How much would it cost to fully implement FP?
• Of the reported 20,500 people who registered without ID in the last 14 days
prior to Nov 2020 election- was it legal, because they signed an affidavit?
• If FP is used, what personal info would have to be submitted to them?
• What is the response of the SOS as to why she has released to ERIC
protected personal info? (protected under MCL168.509qq). The SOS only has
authority to release the last 4 digits of a SS#.
• Why doesn’t a voters ID number travel with them when they make in state
moves?

EAC “Maintenance Monday” with the Arapahoe County Clerk in Colorado:

  • “voting list” is a misnomer. Creating a voter registration record is quite complex. When a new name is added- research is done ie valid address? valid DL? verified SS#? Constant comparison with multiple state and federal agencies.
  • the SOS provides each county with monthly reports to research and process. USPS-NCOA lists, ERIC lists which compare voter registration with MV data and SS death index.
  • Monthly updates received from Dept of Corrections re: felons and Dept of Health for people who have died
  • They have three status levels for voters: active, inactive and cancelled. At a minimum a voters name and DOB must match with at least one other variable such as a DL# or SS# before a voter can be merged or cancelled. This is after a forwardable confirmation notice was sent.

Gateway Pundit – links for series of articles on ERIC:
Part One– Who’s “Cleaning” Our Voter Rolls? Soros Funded ERIC Is Now Used in 31 States

Part Two– The Largest U.S. Counties Removed Only ZERO to TWO Ineligible Voters From Their Voter Rolls the Last 4 Years

Part Three– Soros Open Society and the Founding of the Nations’ Largest Voter Roll Clean-Up Operation

Part Four– A Response to the Panicked Media Attacks

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