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Tags: election | democrats | voter rolls

Report: Data From Voter Rolls Helped Democrats

By    |   Wednesday, 13 December 2023 02:49 PM EST

A self-described "nonprofit, nonpartisan" group was accused of using personal data from voter rolls to help Democrats in nearly half of U.S. states, according to a conservative think tank.

The Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) — which operates in several key swing states such as Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin — shares voter data with left-leaning organizations, the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) said.

ERIC's stated purpose is to maintain accurate voter rolls, detect illegal voting, and register eligible unregistered voters. However, the FGA report claims ERIC failed to maintain voter rolls, and used state funds to help liberal groups register likely Democrat voters.

"When you think about registering voters, you think of political parties or political candidates doing that," Michael Greibrok, the report's co-author and a senior research fellow for FGA, told Washington Examiner.

"Here you have the state being forced by ERIC to essentially do voter registration drives, and you could think of it almost as a political donation from taxpayers to the political parties and candidates."

The FGA report said it was "not a coincidence" that ERIC’s work skewed to "likely Democrat voters," citing Center for Election Innovation & Research (CEIR) Executive Director and founder David Becker as founder of ERIC.

"CEIR is one of the organizations that funneled millions of dollars through Zuckerbucks to increase turnout in predominantly blue districts during the 2020 election," the FGA report said.

CEIR attorney David Angeli, in a letter to Newsmax, said the report’s claim was "not true." He added that Becker was not ERIC’s founder, as reported by FGA in its report, but "a non-voting member of the ERIC board" who relinquished his seat this year.

Becker is, however, credited on the CEIR website as having "spearheaded development" of ERIC.

"While CEIR did receive funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to support a voter education grant program, it did not fund county or local election offices," Angeli wrote.

The attorney also said CEIR does not share information for political purposes.

"CEIR has a bipartisan board of six members, including three Republicans," Angeli wrote. "CEIR cannot and does not work with any political party. CEIR’s nonpartisan work solely serves to improve election administration and integrity."

The FGA report said: "The fact that ERIC shares data collected by the states with third parties like CEIR for political purposes should be alarming for voters and legislators alike. Pennsylvania's secretary of state recently sent a letter to ERIC demanding that they stop sharing data with third parties for get-out-the-vote efforts."

Angeli again denied FGA’s claim and said the source for such a statement might have been that CEIR has worked with several ERIC states to study whether outreach to eligible but unregistered voters would increase voter registration.

"This research project seems to be the source of mistaken claims about CEIR and ERIC sharing data," the lawyer said.

The FGA report noted that 43.8 million Americans moved in 2021, but only 5.1 million were removed from voter rolls for moving out of the jurisdiction, while 4.8 million voters were removed for failure to return confirmation of registration.

"ERIC has failed at its stated mission of maintaining voter rolls because its true mission is to increase voter registration," the report said. "To maintain up-to-date and accurate voter rolls, states should stop outsourcing voter roll maintenance efforts to politically driven, third-party groups like ERIC and instead follow the lead of other states that are using their own tools to achieve clean and accurate rolls."

So far, nine states have left ERIC, including Ohio, Florida, and Virginia.

The FGA gives three ways states can maintain accurate voter rolls by requiring state agencies to share data to verify voter registration, comparing voter rolls to the NCOA database, and signing agreements with other states to securely share voter information.

Earlier this year, Shane Hamlin, ERIC's executive director, wrote an open letter to address "misinformation" about the "non-profit organization created by state election officials to help improve the accuracy of state voter rolls and register more eligible Americans to vote."

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been updated for clarity and to include comment from the Center for Election Innovation & Research.

Caleb Parke

Caleb Parke has over a decade of journalism experience and serves as a correspondent for Newsmax. He is the recipient of a regional Edward R. Murrow Award.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

A self-described "nonprofit, nonpartisan" group was accused of using personal data from voter rolls to help Democrats in nearly half of U.S. states, according to a conservative think tank.
election, democrats, voter rolls
Wednesday, 13 December 2023 02:49 PM
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