After Missouri, Florida, and West Virginia announced their withdrawal from the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) last week, nonvoting board member and founder David Becker tweeted that he would not accept renomination to ERIC’s board.
As previously reported by The Federalist, ERIC markets itself as a voter roll management system used by at least 30 states and the District of Columbia. It operates under the guise of helping states update their voter rolls by removing dead and duplicate registrants and comparing data with other member states. But ERIC does more to inflate state voter rolls than clean them, as it requires member states to engage in partisan voter registration outreach. Becker founded ERIC in 2012, but later changed his role to be a nonvoting member of ERIC’s board.
Becker is a left-wing activist with a history of working as a lobbyist for the George Soros-funded advocacy group People for the American Way and as a Justice Department attorney with a vendetta against conservatives. He is also the founder and executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR), one of two groups that funneled $419 million in grant money from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to fund the private takeover of government election offices in 2020. Such grants targeted predominantly blue areas of swing states, running pro-Democrat get-out-the-vote operations from election offices themselves. As noted by good government group VerityVote, ERIC shares voter roll data with CEIR to create lists of eligible but unregistered voters whom ERIC member states are then required to target for voter registration efforts.
Missouri, Florida, and West Virginia withdrew from ERIC last week after ERIC’s board failed to implement changes requested by their secretaries of state, among which was a demand to remove Becker from the board. Shortly after, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose sent a letter to the board threatening Ohio’s withdrawal unless the board removed “ex-officio” members — aka, Becker — from its bylaws, and allowed member states greater freedom in how they utilize ERIC’s data-sharing services.
In what appears to be a response to LaRose’s demands, Becker announced he would not be accepting a renomination to the board on Tuesday.
In the tweet thread, Becker slandered ERIC’s critics as “election deniers” and accused them of spreading lies about the group. He argued that ERIC is the best tool for states to keep their voter lists accurate and detect fraud. But others have pointed out that states have the technological wherewithal to clean voter rolls themselves and have access to data like the U.S. Postal Service’s National Change of Address Program, which records when people move out of state.
In a further attempt to appear nonpartisan, Becker linked a letter by 26 signees who describe themselves as “Republicans and conservatives” who wrote, Becker claims, “in support of the truth and our bipartisan/nonpartisan work.” Among those who signed the letter are Maricopa County election officials Stephen Richer and Bill Gates, who are responsible for the maladministration that occurred during the 2022 election in Arizona’s largest county; and Georgia Chief Operating Officer Gabriel Sterling, who, among other things, has dismissed documented cases of election fraud as “everyday Georgians who are just trying to exercise their right to vote.”
While Becker’s departure from ERIC is a welcome development, his influence still looms large, as CEIR and ERIC are intricately linked.