Ken Blackwell Calls on States to Withdraw from Membership in ERIC

March 23, 2023

Washington, D.C. – Ken Blackwell, Chair of the Center for Election Integrity at the America First Policy Institute, sent a letter with the below language to Secretaries of State and state election officials responsible for maintaining accurate voter lists in every state. This letter calls on those elected officials to reconsider their membership in the Electronic Registration Information Center after Ohio became the latest state to withdraw from the organization.

The letter reads:

“Many recent concerns surrounding the partisan structure and operations of the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) have been exposed. In light of this, I encourage you to closely examine your state’s affiliation with this organization and consider withdrawing from membership. As a former Secretary of State, I understand the challenges of maintaining voter roll integrity. However, many states have lost confidence in ERIC as the mechanism by which this should be accomplished.

In late 2022, Louisiana was the first state to withdraw following concern after open records requests and investigative reporting that raised concerns about ERIC’s partisan ties, data sharing practices, and focus on voter registration rather than voter roll clean up. Since then, questions continue to be unanswered, and transparency has been lacking. As a result, Alabama, Florida, Missouri, West Virginia, and Ohio have all withdrawn. These states have cited issues of data privacy concerns, partisan funding and involvement, and citizen opposition.

States should consider alternative measures that do not have the side effect of compromised data and partisan influence, and that focus on cleaning voter rolls rather than registering voters. Maintaining accurate voter rolls is crucial to free, fair, and honest elections.”

“As a former Secretary of State, I know maintaining clean and accurate voter rolls is vital to fair, honest, and transparent elections,” said Blackwell. “ERIC was supposed to accomplish this, but instead, the system has come under intense scrutiny for its data-sharing operations, partisan ties, and lack of transparency. I salute the Secretaries of State who decided to withdraw from ERIC and ask the remaining Secretaries to reconsider their membership. Clean voter rolls help make it easy to vote but hard to cheat, and ERIC no longer helps achieve that goal.”