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Missouri yesterday became the latest state to join the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a multistate exchange designed to help states identify both ineligible voters as well as eligible but unregistered individuals. Here’s the release from Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft:
Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft announced that Missouri has become the 23rd state to become a participating member of the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a non-profit organization that assists states improve the accuracy of their voter rolls and increase access to voter registration for all eligible citizens.
“This agreement with ERIC, in conjunction with the work we do alongside local election officials, will help affirm voters are eligible and registered in the right location, identify potential duplicate registrations and identify unregistered voters so we can help them get registered,” Ashcroft said. “Every vote matters. It’s imperative that we as election officials do all we can to safeguard elections, to make certain that every registered voter can have their say on election day.”
Diane Thompson, President of the Missouri Association of County Clerks and Election Authorities (MACCEA) and Johnson County Clerk, noted the strong support for Ashcroft’s efforts among members. “In September 2017, MACCEA unanimously passed a resolution urging Missouri to join ERIC to improve the efficiency and quality of voter registration list maintenance for Missouri’s 116 local election authorities. We applaud Secretary Ashcroft’s dedication and swift action to help make this request a reality.”
Former Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren expressed her support for the move. “I have advocated for Missouri’s participation in ERIC since the inception of the program. Secretary Ashcroft’s agreement is a huge win for anyone who cares about maintaining accurate registration lists and improving services to voters.”
Paul DeGregorio, former Chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, also praised Ashcroft’s move to join ERIC. “Since day one, Secretary Ashcroft has focused on facilitating voter registration for all Missouri citizens and insuring the most accurate voter rolls. Missouri’s participation in ERIC will result in more efficient and effective data matching and thus cleaner voter rolls.”
ERIC compares official data provided by participating states, the U.S. Postal Service and Social Security death records to identify out-of-date records because voters have moved, changed their names, or died. The results are then shared with member states, allowing for more current voter registration rolls.
ERIC was developed to address the challenges in maintaining the accuracy of voter registration records, many of which still rely on paper forms and postal mail. Nationally, it is estimated that 1 in 8 records in the country needs to be updated.
With the Show Me State’s announcement, ERIC moves closer to the halfway mark nationally. Needless to say, every new member that joins makes the exchange stronger – and brings powerful new tools to participating states. It’s very good news and encouraging for the future of voter list maintenance across the country. Kudos to ERIC, Missouri and all the other members!
I’ll be watching to see if more states join the ranks … stay tuned!