WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, March 17, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) announced his intention to withdraw Ohio from the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a nonprofit organization that allows states to share information to help maintain accurate voter rolls. Ohio’s departure from ERIC takes effect in 91 days.
ERIC started in 2012 as an opt-in coalition of both red and blue states alike, but has recently been swept into right-wing election conspiracies. Within the past year, five states — Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri and West Virginia — have withdrawn their membership. Florida, Missouri and West Virginia announced their exit just two weeks ago, which will leave 27 states and Washington, D.C. as members.
In his letter to ERIC, LaRose outlines three policy changes that he had previously requested, including amending the organization’s bylaws that “membership should only consist of member states, who answer to the voters and taxpayers they represent,” removing ex-officio membership positions and permitting member states to opt-out of requirements that they do not deem “necessary or relevant.”
“I cannot justify the use of Ohio’s tax dollars for an organization that seems intent on rejecting meaningful accountability, publicly maligning my motives, and waging a relentless campaign of misinformation about this effort,” LaRose concluded. “The conduct of ERIC and some of its hyper-partisan allies in recent weeks only heightens my suspicion and reinforces my decision.”