Virginia Withdraws From Voter Data Organization ERIC

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, May 11, Virginia withdrew from the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) according to NPR. Founded in 2012 as an opt-in coalition of seven red and blue states, ERIC is a nonprofit organization that allows states to share information to help maintain accurate voter rolls. Virginia was one of the original states that created the organization, led by then-Gov. Bob McDonnell (R). Now, Virginia is just the latest in a series of Republican-controlled states to leave the program. 

Since the beginning of 2023, Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and West Virginia all announced their exits from ERIC. The basis for the withdrawals vary, but they all rely on a combination of right-wing election conspiracies, vague concerns about privacy, dislike of the required outreach to eligible but unregistered voters, the presence of a “hyper-partisan” non-voting board member and assertions that ERIC does not do enough to identify voter fraud. 

According to NPR, Susan Beals, Virginia’s commissioner of elections, cited “increasing concerns regarding stewardship, maintenance, privacy, and confidentiality of voter information” as well as the recent exit of other states in a letter. Just last month, a coalition of metro Washington, D.C. governing bodies encouraged the surrounding states to remain in ERIC given the transient nature of the region’s residents. The recent withdrawals threaten the efficacy of ERIC as the interstate system is more accurate and effective with more states opting-in.

Learn more about ERIC here.