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If Youngkin Doesn’t Veto Dems’ ERIC Bill, He’s Gifting Virginia’s Voter Roll Data To Left-Wing Activists

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Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin is refusing to say whether he’ll veto a Democrat bill granting Virginia’s voter roll data to a leftist-linked elections group that is instrumental to Democrats’ get-out-the-vote machine.

On Friday, the state’s Democrat-controlled Senate sent legislation (SB 606) to Youngkin’s desk that would force Virginia to rejoin the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, a widely used voter-roll “management” system founded by far-left activist David Becker that was “sold to states as a quick and easy way to update their voter rolls.” In reality, ERIC’s membership agreement places a higher priority on registering new voters than on cleaning up existing voter rolls.

The program inflates voter rolls by requiring member states to contact “eligible but unregistered” (EBU) residents to encourage them to register to vote. When a state joins ERIC, it is required to submit “all active and inactive voter files,” “all licensing or identification records contained in the motor vehicles database,” and any state files related to “voter registration functions.” Then, ERIC contrasts this data with that submitted by other member states.

After this process, ERIC compiles updated voter-roll information — including lists of voters who have multiple registrations, moved, or died, and lists of EBUs — and submits it to member states. As Victoria Marshall explained in these pages, ERIC only mandates that states engage in voter list maintenance “after a state has independently validated” the data it receives 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.”

Virginia Elections Commissioner Susan Beals informed ERIC in May 2023 that the commonwealth would be exiting the program, citing concerns about the “confidentiality of voter information” and “controversy surrounding the historical sharing of data with outside organizations leveraged for political purposes.” Virginia entered interstate voter data-sharing pacts with six states later that year to replace the functions ERIC performs.

Other states to withdraw from ERIC over similar concerns include Florida, Missouri, Texas, and more.

SB 606 seeks to reverse Beals’ decision by forcing the commonwealth to “submit an application for … membership in the Electronic Registration Information Center.” The bill furthermore requires Virginia to “promptly execute any membership agreement and pay any membership fees required” once its ERIC membership is approved and “take any steps necessary” to maintain its standing with the program.

SB 606 passed along party lines in the House (51-49) and Senate (21-19), with Democrats supporting and Republicans opposing.

When pressed on whether Youngkin intends to sign SB 606 into law, Youngkin Press Secretary Christian Martinez told The Federalist that the governor is “reviewing the legislation that has been sent to his desk, as he continues to watch how the General Assembly chooses to act on other important priorities.”

Youngkin campaigned on election integrity during his 2021 gubernatorial election and highlighted the issue at numerous events over the course of the race.

While Democrats and their media allies have attempted to characterize ERIC as “nonpartisan” and smear its opponents as “conspiracy theorists,” the program has numerous problems justifying election officials’ concerns. Chief among these is the organization’s ties to the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR), a Becker-founded nonprofit responsible for interfering in the 2020 election to help Democrats.

During the 2020 contest, CEIR and the Center for Tech and Civic Life collectively received hundreds of millions of dollars from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. These “Zuckbucks” were then dumped into local election offices across the country to advance insecure, Democrat-backed voting policies, such as mass mail-in voting and the widespread use of ballot drop boxes. Analyses have shown these grants were heavily skewed toward Democrat municipalities, especially in swing states, effectively making it a giant Democrat get-out-the-vote operation.

As The Federalist previously reported and communication records have shown, CEIR enjoys a transactional relationship with ERIC, which submits the voter-roll data it receives from states to CEIR. Upon receiving this information, CEIR curates “targeted mailing lists and sends them back to the states to use for voter registration outreach.” In other words, CEIR — an organization engaged in highly partisan, left-wing activism — is developing lists of potential (and likely Democrat) voters for states to register in the lead-up to major elections.

Youngkin has until March 8 to decide whether he will veto SB 606.


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