What the ERIC Bill Means to Virginia Voters

(NationalUSNews.com) — In May 2023, Virginia withdrew from the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, over concerns about voter information confidentiality and that the data was being used for partisan political purposes. ERIC is a voter-roll management system founded by David Becker that compiles updated voter-roll information and then shares that information with member states. However, ERIC only mandates that states clean up existing voter rolls after they have independently validated the ERIC data, which often doesn’t get done. There are also allegations that the data is being used as a booster for Democratic voter turnout.

Several states have already withdrawn from the ERIC program over similar concerns, which Democrats have characterized as conspiracy theories. On Friday, March 1, the Democrat-controlled Virgina Senate sent bill SB 606 to Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin’s desk for consideration. The bill would force Virginia to rejoin ERIC, and if their application for membership is approved, it would require the state to immediately fall in line with the program’s requirements and pay the membership dues.

Some Republicans have expressed dismay that Youngkin seems somewhat cagey as to whether he will sign the contentious bill. It has already passed in the state house and senate along party lines, with Democratic support and Republican opposition. The Democrats insist that ERIC is nonpartisan, however, the organization has been widely criticized for its partnership with the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR), which poured money into support for Democrat-backed voting policies in 2020.

More states are poised to leave the ERIC program, and some have been working towards a functional alternative. Democrats have denounced all of these alternative programs as dangerous and anti-democratic. Republicans, on the other hand, consider ERIC partisan, deceptive, and invasive, as well as ineffective for its stated purpose. Youngkin campaigned on election integrity in 2021, and Republicans are waiting to see if he will live up to their expectations in that regard. He has until March 8 to decide whether to veto or approve SB 606.

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