Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced on Thursday that his office has finalized agreements with three states to exchange critical voter data in an effort to bolster transparent and accurate elections.
“Ohio took the lead on this election integrity project, and it’s only one aspect of the work we’re doing to keep our elections honest as we prepare for the next presidential election year,” LaRose said in a statement. Ohio’s new agreements are with Florida, Virginia, and West Virginia.
According to a LaRose press release, these arrangements permit each state to “implement state-specific data sharing and security protocols to allow for the secure exchange of voter information, giving both states in [each individual] agreement the ability to analyze records for evidence of cross-state voter fraud and duplicate voter registrations.”
These new interstate contracts appear to act as replacements for the Electronic Registration Information System (ERIC). ERIC is a widely used voter-roll management group founded by Democrat activist David Becker that was “sold to states as a quick and easy way to update their voter rolls.”
In actuality, ERIC inflates voter rolls by requiring member states to contact eligible but unregistered residents and encourage them to register to vote. But ERIC’s membership agreement also places a higher priority on registering new voters than cleaning up existing voter rolls. As Victoria Marshall wrote in these pages, ERIC mandates states engage in voter list maintenance “only after [they have] independently validated” the data they receive from the organization. In other words, “if a state does not independently validate the ERIC data, it is not required to clean its voter rolls.”
Prior to an ERIC board meeting earlier this year, LaRose sent a letter to the organization threatening to withdraw Ohio from the group “if the board did not remove Becker” — who at the time served as a non-voting board member — “from its bylaws and cut the requirement for states to conduct partisan voter registration outreach.” While Becker ultimately stepped down from his role, ERIC’s board declined to approve LaRose’s other proposals, prompting Ohio’s departure from the organization.
According to Amanda Grandjean, LaRose’s senior adviser and the deputy assistant secretary of state, Ohio’s agreements with Florida, Virginia, and West Virginia came as the result of a 27-state working group that “formed earlier this year in hopes of finding a more durable and accountable solution to cross-state data sharing that fit each state’s individual needs.” Grandjean indicated arrangements with additional states will be formalized in the future.
In addition to dismissing Republican election officials’ legitimate concerns about ERIC, legacy media have neglected to detail the organization’s connection with another Becker-founded group known as the Center for Election Innovation and Research. Otherwise known as CEIR, this Becker-founded nonprofit was one of two left-wing groups that poured hundreds of millions of dollars from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg into local election offices leading up to the 2020 election.
Those “Zuckbucks” were then used to advance unsecured Democrat-backed voting practices, such as mass, unsupervised mail-in voting and the use of ballot drop boxes. Analyses have shown these funds were heavily skewed toward Democrat municipalities, especially in swing states, effectively making them a giant Democrat get-out-the-vote operation.
But CEIR’s election interference doesn’t stop there. As The Federalist previously reported, CEIR enjoys an active relationship with ERIC, which transmits the voter-roll data it receives from states to CEIR. Upon receiving the data, CEIR “then develops targeted mailing lists and sends them back to the states to use for voter registration outreach.” In other words, CEIR — a highly partisan nonprofit with a history of left-wing activism — is creating lists of potential (and likely Democrat) voters for states to register in the lead-up to major elections.
In addition to Ohio, other states that have withdrawn from ERIC in recent months include Texas, Iowa, Virginia, West Virginia, Florida, and Missouri. Alabama and Louisiana withdrew from the group last year.