Republican Gov. Greg Abbott Signs Legislation to Withdraw Texas from ERIC
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation on Sunday permitting Texas to withdraw from the leftist-controlled voter-roll management group known as ERIC.
As The Federalist previously reported, the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, is a widely used voter-roll management organization founded by Democrat activist David Becker that was “sold to states as a quick and easy way to update their voter rolls.” In actuality, ERIC inflates voter rolls by requiring member states to contact eligible but unregistered residents and encouraging them to register to vote.
Passed by the state legislature last month, SB 1070 allows Texas to “identify and contract with the provider of a private sector data system to identify voters … whose addresses have changed,” “who are registered to vote in more than one state,” “who are deceased” and who are not qualified to vote under state law. As noted in the bill, Texas is required to “cooperate with other states and jurisdictions to develop systems” that clean its voter rolls. SB 1070 would permit Texas to contract with a separate private sector data system instead of ERIC, which according to its website, is “funded and governed by states that choose to join.”
According to Votebeat Texas, the state’s ERIC membership costs Texan taxpayers about $1.5 million, with roughly $115,000 of those funds going towards “annual fees to use ERIC’s voter-matching data” and the rest set aside for “paying for postage, mailing, and printing costs to send notices to residents ERIC identifies as eligible voters who are not yet registered.” States are required to undertake the latter effort as part of their ERIC membership, according to the outlet.
SB 1070 is set to take effect on Sept. 1.
Ken Blackwell, the chair of the America First Policy Institute’s Center for Election Integrity, released a statement on Monday celebrating Abbott’s signing of the bill and noting how “ERIC should continue to raise serious concerns for any state still using it.”
“ERIC was initially sold as a non-partisan data system to clean voter rolls. However, it has been transformed into a system that lacks transparency, compromises voter information, and focuses on states registering voters rather than cleaning voter rolls,” Blackwell said. “With Texas joining seven other states around the country and leaving ERIC, Secretaries of State who are still members of the system should conduct an immediate review of ERIC’s effectiveness and validity for their states and voters.”
ERIC’s problems go far beyond inflating voter rolls, however. In fact, the organization enjoys an active relationship with the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR), another Becker-founded group to which ERIC transmits the voter roll data it receives from states. Upon receiving the data from ERIC, CEIR “then develops targeted mailing lists and sends them back to the states to use for voter registration outreach.”
In other words, CEIR is creating lists of potential (and likely Democrat) voters for states to register in the lead-up to major elections.
For context, CEIR is one of the two nonprofits (along with the Center for Tech and Civic Life) that received tens of millions of dollars from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg leading up to the 2020 election. These grants were poured into local election offices throughout the country to push Democrat-backed voting practices, such as mass mail-in voting and the widespread use of ballot drop boxes. Analysis shows these “Zuckbucks” were heavily skewed toward Democrat municipalities, especially in swing states, effectively making it a Democrat get-out-the-vote operation.
About the Author
Shawn Fleetwood is a staff writer for The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He previously served as a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous outlets, including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth, and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood.
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