Non-profit

Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC)

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

45-5389681

Budget (2019):

Revenue: $907,648
Expenses: $891,888
Assets: $923,126

Website:

ericstates.org/

Location:

Washington, D.C

Formation:

2012

Type:

Voter Registration Group

Executive Director:

Shane Hamlin

Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) is a state-run voter monitoring system in which states periodically submit their voter rolls for review to identify incorrect and outdated voter information. Its membership consists of state-level election officials from 31 states and Washington, D.C. [1]

ERIC was established by Pew Charitable Trusts, a left-of-center nonprofit advocacy and grantmaking organization, in 2012.

Activity

Electronic Registration Information Center audits state voter rolls for errors in voter registrations. At least every 60 days, all ERIC member states submit their voter rolls for auditing. [2] From its founding in 2012 to 2017, ERIC found 26.5 million improper registrations, including incidents of wrong addresses, voters moving out of state, duplicates, and deceased registered voters. In 2017 alone, ERIC found 8.4 million discrepancies. [3]

Membership

New Electronic Registration Information Center member states pay a one-time initiation fee of $25,000. Annual fees vary by the size of the state, which as of 2017, range from $15,000-$64,000. [4] ERIC claims that state members save money by joining ERIC despite the fees by outsourcing their voter roll monitoring systems. [5]

ERIC is run by a board of directors, with each member state holding a single seat. [6]

Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck

Electronic Registration Information Center is often seen as the successor to the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck (IVRC), a program established in 2005 by former Kansas Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh in conjunction with the states of Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri. IVRC used a similar system as ERIC to audit voter rolls by comparing voter records between states. [7]

IVRC faced numerous controversies concerning inaccuracies, security breaches, and alleged racial biases. One study alleged that the IVRC recommended removing 200 legitimate voters for every one illegitimate voter. [8] In 2019, IVRC was indefinitely suspended due to a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union after IVRC mistakenly exposed the private information of 1,000 Kansas voters. [9]

Many of IVRC’s former members are currently members of ERIC. [10]

Leadership

The development of Electronic Registration Information Center at Pew Charitable Trusts was led by David Becker, the former director of the left-of-center People for the American Way. [11]

In 2016, Becker co-founded and became the executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR). During the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump criticized the security of American elections by citing a research report written by Becker while at Pew which claimed that there were millions of inaccuracies in voter records. Becker claimed that Trump took his report out of context and that most inaccuracies were not exploitable for voter fraud. Though Becker was annoyed at his misrepresentation, he attributed the controversy to launching the newly founded CEIR to immediate success. On September 1, 2020, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, donated $50 million to CEIR through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative as part of their efforts to influence the administration of the 2020 elections. [12]

Controversy

Alleged Racial Bias

Voting expert Marc Meredith has said that the Electronic Registration Information Center does a “pretty good job” at monitoring voter rolls but is skeptical that the organization has no oversight to evaluate its performance. Meredith ran a program to simulate ERIC’s methods and found that the group tend to make more mistakes concerning non-white voters than white voters. [13]

Florida

Former Florida Governor Rick Scott (R-FL) refused to join ERIC despite support in the media and from some election officials. Governor Scott refused on the grounds that he didn’t want to give private voter information to “a liberal think tank,” referring to Pew Charitable Trusts, which established ERIC. [14]

In December 2019, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) announced that Florida would join ERIC to increase voter security and voter roll accuracy. In September 2020, WPTV reported that despite Governor DeSantis’s public statements, Florida had not yet joined ERIC, allegedly due to a lack of funding and for security reasons and thus would not have its voter rolls monitored for the 2020 election. [15] Florida joined ERIC the following year. [16]

References

  1. “Member States.” ERIC. Accessed January 7, 2022. https://ericstates.org/who-we-are/. ^
  2. “Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) Fact Sheet.” Nevada Secretary of State. July 1, 2020. Accessed January 7, 2022. https://www.nvsos.gov/sos/home/showdocument?id=9301. ^
  3. “2017 Annual Report.” ERIC. Accessed January 7, 2022. https://ericstates.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/FINAL_ERIC_2017_Annual_Report.pdf. ^
  4. “Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) Fact Sheet.” Nevada Secretary of State. July 1, 2020. Accessed January 7, 2022. https://www.nvsos.gov/sos/home/showdocument?id=9301. ^
  5. “Does ERIC help members save money?” ERIC. Accessed January 7, 2022. https://ericstates.org/. ^
  6. “Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) Fact Sheet.” Nevada Secretary of State. July 1, 2020. Accessed January 7, 2022. https://www.nvsos.gov/sos/home/showdocument?id=9301. ^
  7. Ingraham, Christopher. “This anti-voter-fraud program gets it wrong over 99 percent of the time. The GOP wants to take in nationwide.” Washington Post. July 20, 2017. Accessed January 7, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/07/20/this-anti-voter-fraud-program-gets-it-wrong-over-99-of-the-time-the-gop-wants-to-take-it-nationwide/. ^
  8. Ingraham, Christopher. “This anti-voter-fraud program gets it wrong over 99 percent of the time. The GOP wants to take in nationwide.” Washington Post. July 20, 2017. Accessed January 7, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/07/20/this-anti-voter-fraud-program-gets-it-wrong-over-99-of-the-time-the-gop-wants-to-take-it-nationwide/. ^
  9. “ACLU of Kansas Settlement Puts “Crosscheck” Out of Commission For Foreseeable Future; Program Suspended Until Safeguards Added.” ACLU Kansas. December 10, 2019. Accessed January 7, 2022. https://www.aclukansas.org/en/press-releases/aclu-kansas-settlement-puts-crosscheck-out-commission-foreseeable-future-program. ^
  10. “Member States.” ERIC. Accessed January 7, 2022. https://ericstates.org/who-we-are/. ^
  11. “David Becker: Making Elections More Secure.” The American Leader. Accessed January 8, 2022. https://theamericanleader.org/leader/david-becker-making-elections-more-secure/. ^
  12. “David Becker: Making Elections More Secure.” The American Leader. Accessed January 8, 2022. https://theamericanleader.org/leader/david-becker-making-elections-more-secure/. ^
  13. De Groot, Kristen. “The racial burden of cleaning voter rolls.” Penn Today. February 24, 2021. Accessed January 7, 2022. https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/racial-burden-cleaning-voter-rolls. ^
  14. Fineout, Gary. “Scott: Liberal think tank drove decision to avoid fraud-fighting vote effort.” Politico. August 27, 2019. Accessed January 7, 2022. https://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2019/08/27/scott-liberal-think-tank-drove-decision-to-avoid-fraud-fighting-vote-effort-1156180. ^
  15. Buczyner, Michael. “Florida won’t cross-check voter data in information center with 30 other states for 2020 election.” WPTV. September 10, 2020. Updated September 11, 2020. Accessed January 7, 2022. https://www.wptv.com/news/local-news/investigations/florida-wont-cross-check-voter-data-in-information-center-with-30-other-states-for-2020-election. ^
  16. “Member States.” ERIC. Accessed January 7, 2022. https://ericstates.org/who-we-are/. ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: February 1, 2014

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2019 Jun Form 990 $907,648 $891,888 $923,126 $129,105 N $907,558 $0 $90 $113,300 PDF
    2018 Jun Form 990 $803,869 $714,320 $1,001,557 $223,296 N $803,840 $0 $29 $110,000 PDF
    2017 Jun Form 990 $730,116 $703,437 $963,305 $274,593 N $0 $730,116 $0 $117,975
    2016 Jun Form 990 $871,914 $761,391 $887,578 $225,545 N $0 $871,914 $0 $115,200 PDF
    2015 Jun Form 990 $583,434 $753,823 $551,510 $0 N $3,594 $579,840 $0 $112,425 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $497,225 $610,535 $778,981 $57,082 N $15,545 $481,680 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $398,879 $358,197 $835,209 $0 N $398,879 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC)

    1155 F ST NW STE 1050
    WASHINGTON, DC 20004-1329