Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC)
I. ERIC Overview:
· ERIC is the Electronic Registration Information Center, a small 501(c)3 organization with a mailing address in Washington, D.C. ERIC is presently being used in 31 states and the District of Columbia as a solution provider for “Voter List Maintenance” 1, 10
· Founded in 2012 by David Becker, formerly of People for the American Way. Becker is an experienced electionlawyer with a career rich in left-leaning projects.6, 18
· David Becker remains a board memberof ERIC. He also created the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR) in 2016, which distributed $69 million in grants from Mark Zuckerberg and his Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) for the 2020 election.2, 3, 4, 5, 15
· Through David Becker’s membership on the ERIC Board, CEIR has direct ties to ERIC for information sharing. 1, 18, 21
· ERIC has not published an annual report since 2017. 10
· ERIC is a “sole source” organization with no direct competitor thanks to lawsuits that closed down the “Interstate Cross-Check” system which previously served the purpose of helping to identify duplicated voter registrations among the states. 17
· ERIC was originally funded by Soros’ Open Society. Leaked funding documentsshowed Soros partneredwith the Rockefeller Family Fund to push changes to voter registration policies at the national level. Soros also gave money to “Pew Centeron The States” to improve voter list maintenance practices.8, 9, 19, 20, 21
· ERIC promotes itself as a means of “improving the accuracy of America’s voter rolls.” In reality, ERIC operates a national voter registration driveto produce a database of everyone who could possibly produce a ballot. Example: Colorado is a 10-yearuser of ERIC; at least 40 of 64 Colorado counties now have more registered voters than residents eligible to vote. 11, 13, 14
· ERIC is granted regularaccess to the detailed and personally identifiable information for residents in 2/3 of our states. This organization creates the opportunity to produce ballots ripe for exploitation by left-wing organizations.13, 14
· The initial ERIC state membershipfee is $25,000. Additionally each member pays from $15,000 to $74,000 annually for ERIC services. This generates well over one million dollars in annual revenue for the work of the 3-person ERIC staff. 10
· ERIC sourced 17 millionnew voters for the 2020 election, the most in the historyof the organization. (By comparison, ERIC generated just 5.7 million new voters during Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.)12, 22
· The ERIC databases possess sufficient Eligible but Unregistered (EBU) voter data to influence a national election.9, 14
· In addition to the above list, Member Statesmust provide data on every individual in the state’s Motor Vehicle Department database- both licensed and ID recipients. This comprehensive combo of data includes the names, addresses, date of birth, license numbers, last 4 digits of social security numbers, voter activity, phone number, email address, title and type of citizenship documentation of: (a) Everyone who can generate a legal ballot; (b) Prospective voters approaching voting age; and (c) Non-citizens who have been issued an ID in a few states. 12, 13, 17
II. What happens with the lists that are generated from ERIC?
· ERIC provides each member state with a targeted list of people that are not registered to vote. According to the ERIC membership agreement and bylaws, each state is required to contact at least 95% of the ERIC-identified unregistered prospects within 90 days, soliciting them to register. 12, 17
· There is no ERIC mandate or requirement for member states to purge their voter rolls of ineligible or illegal voters. States are “encouraged” but not required to request ERIC’s voter updates at least once a year. 12, 17
· According to ERIC member rules, “Under no circumstances shallthe members transmitany record indicating an individual is a non-citizen of the U.S.” 12, 17
· Some Member Statescurrently use ERIC to hide their list maintenance data,indicating it violates their ERIC vendor contracts, even though Federal law mandates that data be made public. 17, 23
· The 1993 NVRA (Motor Voter) law incudes “Public Disclosure Provision” which allows the public inspection of “voter list maintenance records.” States are required by federal law (1993 NVRA) to reportto Congress how many ineligible voters they removefrom the voter rolls-voters who fail to respond to an addressconfirmation request and fail to vote in two consecutive elections. 23
· Some ERIC member states merge public voter records and some private motor vehicle or drivers license datatogether, then claim the merged data must all remain protected, the data being non-releasable because it would violate the federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) 17
· ERIC member states have an inferior record of list maintenance- removing 25% fewer voter registration records than their non-ERIC state counterparts. See the below chart – compiled from the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) EAVS Report from 2020. 22
III. NORTH CAROLINA LEGISLATIVE INTEREST
· The North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA) should investigate why it is necessary to expend tens of thousands of dollars annually through a sole source, non-competitive contract for undefined “List Maintenance” functions using an out-of-state501(c)3 with ties to left-leaning organizations, when in-state 501(c)3’s and 501(c)4’s are ready to provide essentially the same service at no cost to the state.
· Section XXVI of House Bill 103 (State Budget) authorizes the expenditure of federal HAVA appropriations for unspecified “List Maintenance” services, allowing the transmittal of Voter Registration and Voter History data to ERIC. Nowhere in this bill is there an authorization to sign an ERIC agreement committing the state to release of other (confidential) data, particularly DOT/DMV or DHHS client data. The NCGA should immediately and unambiguously instruct NCSBE and other state agencies that drivers license information, full or partial social security numbers, and dates of birth are not releasable to ERIC.
· NCGS § 163-82.10(a1) clearly conveys, “Full or partial social security numbers, dates of birth, the identity of the public agency at which the voter registered under G.S. 163-82.20, any electronic mail address submitted under this Article, Article 20, or Article 21A of this Chapter, photocopies of identification for voting, and drivers license numbers, whether held by the State Board or a county board of elections, are confidential and shall not be considered public records and subject to disclosure to the general public under Chapter 132 of the General Statutes.”
· In the event state agencies are permitted or required to transfer personally identifiable DOT/DMV or DHHS information to ERIC, then the same information should be made immediately available to the NCEIT Team (a much larger, in-state, non-partisan, 501(c)4 election integrity team with the tools needed to effectively assist the state in its “List Maintenance” requirements).
· ERIC bylaws seem to indicate that ERIC will only commit to “List Maintenance” support once the ERIC Member Agreement is signed. The NCGA ought to demand review and pre-approval of that Member Agreement prior to authorizing NCSBE to transmit any agency data beyond Voter Registration and Voter History data to ERIC. The ERIC Member Agreement has innumerable legal requirements, some of which likely conflict with NC General Statutes.
· The NCGA should insist that all ERIC personnel using NC agency data sign a non-disclosure agreement, agreeing not to share that data with any third party organizations without the expressed written consent of the NCGA.
· According to NC’s List Maintenance documentation, under § 163-82.14. List maintenance,the organization receives DMV and other state agency information on a frequent basis, info they shouldbe using to check for in-state duplicate registrations, felons and dead voters. ERIC support is not needed to improve the identification of dead, ineligible, or in-state movers we have already identified through NC list maintenance groups.