Texas drops out of multi-state voter registration maintenance system

August 2, 2023

The Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a multi-state voter registration maintenance system, is becoming more unpopular by the day. 

According to Just The News, the system lost Texas this week, the ninth state to exit the system, after additional concerns were raised regarding voter privacy data.

Election officials from seven states originally launched the system in 2012. At its peak, 33 states had signed onto the system.

Its mission statement is its goal "to assist states in improving the accuracy of America’s voter rolls and increasing access to voter registration for all eligible citizens."

Resignation submitted

The state officially submitted its intent to resign from using the system through Texas Director of Elections Christina Adkins, who took the action on Tuesday.

Just The News noted:

The withdrawal will become effective on Oct. 19, 2023, per ERIC bylaws. Alicia Pierce, a representative for Texas Secretary of State Jane Nelson, said compliance with Senate Bill 1070 was the reason for Texas’s withdrawal. SB1070, which Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed on June 18, includes provisions that make compliance with ERIC’s bylaws effectively impossible and directs the Texas Secretary of State to develop a new voter registration data-sharing compact, or find a new program with annual dues less than $100,000.

The bill flew through the state's legislature, with the state House and Senate passing the bill with relative ease. The votes happened in April and May in the respective chambers.

"We wouldn’t want to give folks the impression that we’re making some radical change in the law. We’re restoring the law to where it was two years ago," the bill's author, state Rep. Chris Turner (D) said.

The bill had gained widespread report from Texas Republicans.

"The ERIC membership agreement collects an extensive amount of personally identifiable information and data related to elections going far beyond the requirements of our Interstate Crosscheck Program," The Texas Republican Party wrote in a statement.

Other states' resignations

Citing "concerns about protection of personal data, partisanship, and strategic disagreements," eight other states have resigned from the system since 2022, with Louisiana being the first.

State Democrats were not thrilled with pulling out of the system, with some claiming that it means Republicans aren't interested in secure elections.

"The GOP push to get out of ERIC shows they’re not committed to safe and accurate elections as they claim, but instead are committed to placating extremists in their party that perpetuate the big lie," state Rep. John Bucy (D) said.

Only time will tell if additional states follow the other states' lead.

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