Correcting Media Lies About ERIC

by | Apr 26, 2023 | Election Integrity

For a supposedly apolitical group, ERIC’s biggest defenders are the “progressive” press.

A free republic depends on an independent press willing to expose the truth, no matter the cost. What we got instead is a media that will stop at nothing to cover the truth up—and destroy anyone who stands in their way.

Since we began revealing the troubled origins of the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) earlier this year, 7 states have announced their departure from the data compact, with more to follow. Every one of these states cited legitimate concerns about ERIC’s failure to remove ineligible voters from state voter rolls, its absurd voter registration demands, and ERIC’s refusal to reform. They left in order to protect voters’ private information and interests, not for partisan reasons. To this day, none of their concerns have been addressed by ERIC or its defenders.

As expected, leftists in the media came unglued. It’s no secret why—ERIC wasn’t created to clean voter rolls, but expand them. It’s the key ingredient in the Democratic Party’s recipe for permanent power in Washington via mass voter registration, something we’ve documented using the Left’s own strategy guides and donor memos.

ERIC founder David Becker put it best in 2018: “[ERIC] is the single most effective voter registration drive in the history of the United States.”

ERIC’s bylaws, after all, carefully remind member states that removing ineligible voters is optional. That’s amazing for an organization whose mission is making their “voter registration lists and processes more accurate [and] more complete.”

They must have listened, too, since data from the Voter Reference Foundation shows that non-ERIC states have cleaner rolls than do ERIC states. Just last week, Virginia—a founding member of ERIC—discovered 19,000 dead voters on its rolls. ERIC is supposed to find these sorts of discrepancies, something it couldn’t do across 11 years. No wonder Loudoun County’s Republican Party recently resolved to leave ERIC earlier this month.

In the spirit of good journalism, let’s correct the record on ERIC and set straight the media’s ugliest lies.

Weasels to the Rescue

We’ll start with the worst offender: the Tallahassee Democrat, whose error-ridden article on March 29th is everything wrong with modern left-wing “journalism.” Restoration News tried twice to get reporter Douglas Soule to correct his mistakes, but both attempts were simply ignored.

Mr. Soule says that ERIC’s value “spur[s] questions” about Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to leave the compact after he joined it in 2019. Why this about-face? A good reporter might’ve considered, you know, reading Florida’s well-publicized withdrawal letter:

Today’s announcement follows efforts led by Florida over the past year to reform ERIC through attempts to secure data and eliminate ERIC’s partisan tendencies, all of which were rejected. Withdrawing from ERIC will ensure the data privacy of Florida voters is protected.

As with the other 5 states to formally withdraw from ERIC, Florida’s elected officials decided that membership in the compact no longer served their constituents’ interests. Changing one’s mind upon receipt of new information is evidently verboten. One wonders: Are states ever allowed to leave ERIC, or only to join it?

Mr. Soule also claims that the voter information ERIC collects “isn’t particularly sensitive” since it comes “from voter registration and motor vehicle licensee data.” In fact, most of this ERIC data on 200 million-plus Americans is protected by federal privacy laws that make it inaccessible to even political data vendors like Catalist. ERIC is able to bypass these privacy laws and warehouse it on a server, with little scrutiny of its day-to-day operations. Worse, individuals concerned about leaks and hacks have no recourse to stop ERIC’s warehousing—we’re simply told that we must trust ERIC not to abuse this unrivaled access to voter data.

Amazingly, Soule never references ERIC founder David Becker or his activist past while mocking Florida’s concerns about “potential partisan leanings.” Nor does he mention Becker’s other organization, the partisan Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR), which maintains well-known data-sharing and nondisclosure agreements with ERIC. Soule merely dismisses these facts as being “without evidence.”

Groups like Restoration of America are “far-right” “conspiracy theorists” for criticizing ERIC. But Soule is only too keen to call the Brennan Center—the Left’s top election “reform” advocacy shop—“voting rights advocates.” Gee, it sure pays to be on the correct side of politics.

Guarding Lies

Then there’s the Guardian, which has painted states’ withdrawal from ERIC as a fiat from Donald Trump himself instead of a decision taken after more than a year of thought and debate. In the simplistic landscape of the “progressive” reporter, allies are “election experts” and critics are “election deniers.”

For proof, the Guardian cites the Campaign Legal Center… an attack group heavily funded by Pew Charitable Trusts, which incubated ERIC a decade ago. Now it’s funded by fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried, George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, and other mega-funders to sue Republicans and push the Left’s election policies, including vote-by-mail, voting from jail, and abolishing the Electoral College.

Calling All Democrats

As we’ve reported, ERIC’s value to the Left is identifying eligible-but-unregistered individuals (EBUs), a goldmine for political campaigns seeking out their preferred voters. ERIC’s website claims that it identified 17 million EBUs in 2020.

That EBU data is sent to Becker’s CEIR, which used $70 million from Mark Zuckerberg in 2020 in part to fund ERIC states’ mandatory registration requirement. Yet the Washington Post asserts this fact is “without evidence.” ERIC’s data-sharing agreements prove otherwise.

Just recently, Todd Shepherd of Broad + Liberty reported that Pennsylvania transferred partial data profiles of hundreds of thousands of EBUs to CEIR in 2020. That information would have proved invaluable to partisan groups active in Pennsylvania that year; yet CEIR won’t say what it did with the trove of voter data. For the leftist media, that’s apparently just fine—they are the experts, after all.

As for registering EBUs, ERIC’s bylaws make it clear that voter registration is mandatory. States that fail to fund expensive registration drives will be terminated from the compact.

Not long ago this wasn’t controversial on the Left. In 2018, the New York Times applauded ERIC because it “was meant to both increase voter access and clean up voter rolls,” and favorably quoted then-ERIC Executive Director John Lindback saying: “I have no doubt that more people are voting as a result of ERIC.”

Today, however, the Times says that only “election deniers” believe that “false claim.”

Will the media correct these lies? We aren’t holding our breath. Fortunately, no amount of leftist screeching will stop the exodus of red states leaving ERIC for good.