Developed by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) uses the voter registration rolls of member states, as well as several other databases including DMV records, Social Security Administration records, and the Postal Service’s national change of address registry, to compare voting lists. Using advanced algorithms, ERIC then determines inaccuracies in member states’ lists: who has moved, who has died, and who is eligible to vote but is not yet registered.
Citizens that are no longer eligible to vote are then removed from the voting rolls after a confirmation process with the voter/state, and those that are eligible but have not yet registered to vote receive registration forms in the mail and/or online. The states that have joined ERIC so far have seen increased voter registration rates and more accurate voting lists. ERIC does not purge voters and is a responsible solution to the issue of voting list maintenance.
ERIC is also a voluntary organization run by member states. Only states that have opted in share their records. The more states that join then, the more comprehensive its information exchange will be. We think ERIC is a great idea and that Massachusetts ought to join the 20 states (plus Washington, D.C.!) that have already enrolled: Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Oregon, Connecticut, Louisiana, Minnesota, Alabama, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Alaska, Ohio, New Mexico, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
S.373 and H.2091 currently combine proposals to join ERIC and establish Automatic Voter Registration. We’re working hard to get this bill passed on Beacon Hill so Massachusetts voting records remain accurate and all eligible citizens of the Commonwealth, new and old, are offered the opportunity to register to vote.