A total of 8 States have left ERIC in the last 6 months. Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, his Attorney General Jason Miyares, and Elections Commissioner Susan Beals all felt the ERIC voter registration non-profit was beyond repair. Commissioner Beals penned a letter yesterday notifying ERIC that Virginia will no longer participate in the voter data-sharing program.
Virginia is leaving for several reasons. From the letter:
- Costly mandated GOTV activates are unrelated to list maintenance.
- Sharing data with 3rd party CEIR for “research purposes” in 2020.
- ERIC increasingly engages in efforts that are not list maintenance.
- Board rejected reforms unanimously suggested by subcommittee.
- Elevates the voice of a biased non-voting Board member (Becker).
- Significant dues increase for Virginia because seven States left.
- Concerns about stewardship, maintenance, privacy, and confidentiality of voter data.
Susan Beals was appointed as the Election Commissioner by Youngkin in March of 2022. Yesterdays ERIC letter also explains Virginia will be able to “replicate favorable ERIC functionally internally. We will pursue other information arrangements with our neighboring States and look to other opportunities to partner with States in an apolitical fashion”. Sounds like partnering is afoot to actually clean some voter rolls. Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, and West Virginia recently left ERIC too.
Virginia was one of the founding seven States that started ERIC in 2012. Governor Youngkin’s spokeswoman told Breitbart: “Virginia withdrew from ERIC because Virginians’ data was shared with an ERIC affiliated research organization (David Becker’s CEIR). Virginia is unable to reform ERIC and it’s highly politicized use of data. As stewards of taxpayer dollars, it was necessary to remove the commonwealth from ERIC’s significantly increasing costs.” The main concern appears to be David Becker’s biased activism.
The 4 part ERIC series published by GP in January of 2022 started a national conversation. Election integrity groups began to look closer. The left attacked GP, said it was a conspiracy theory to question ERIC’s data dissemination, or David Becker’s biased motives. One FOIA request later discovered Becker did obtain private data from ERIC, explained in this Verity Vote report. Millions were targeted with election messages. Most election officials were unaware this was happening. The leftist media won’t admit GP was right again.
Although David Becker helped create ERIC, he resigned last month. He has 2 non-profits of his own. His “election integrity” CEIR group received tens of millions just from the left, including Zuckerberg. The Election Official Legal Defense Fund (EOLDF) provides funding to election officials caught in lawsuits. If your suing a jurisdiction for the truth, EOLDF might be helping to stop you. Ever notice the biased national reporting that immediately defends ERIC. They also attack those with legitimate ERIC concerns, including election officials.
The PR agency used by Becker is Brass Ring Communications. Brass Ring is behind Becker’s press conferences, including those about ERIC. Both CEIR and EOLDN are listed as Brass Ring partners, but ERIC is not. They clearly help ERIC, so who is paying for this PR? Brass Ring has key staff that are former Pew Charitable Trust employees, Hillary campaign staff, and so on. They are “Adept at amplifying stories through placement in elite national media outlets, including NYT, the WSJ, Wash Post, and NPR.” It’s PR disguised as journalism to help ERIC.
Within hours of Virginia’s announcement, NPR came to ERIC’s defense again. The story spread to partners sites, including PBS affiliates. It criticizes Virginia as “Going Full MAGA”, and more. The story closes with: “A far right website targeted ERIC last year with a series of articles claiming ERIC was a left wing plot to steal elections. That set off a chain reaction….”. This is a reference to The Gateway Pundit. But the NPR correspondent just doesn’t have the balls to say our name, or link to our ERIC articles.
The Virginia AG spokeswoman said: “Attorney General Miyares has expressed concerns about ERIC and supports the Governor’s decision today. Our office stands ready and able to assist the department of elections during this transition”. The total costs to run ERIC are billed to its members using a formula based on the voter database size. For instance, Texas pays more than Virginia. When 1/4 of their members leave and no longer pay dues, the remaining States have to cover that lost revenue so they break even. Membership fees go up.
Excerpt – Beals Letter to ERIC:
In recent years, ERIC has increasingly engaged in efforts outside of list maintenance and has elevated the voice of a partisan non-voting board member. Virginia participated in efforts to reform ERIC in order to return the focus of the organization back to its goal of improving electoral integrity through list maintenance. When reform efforts failed and several states left the organization, it became clear that Virginia’s return on investment in ERIC was decreasing.
After carefully evaluating Virginia’s relationship with ERIC, I hereby notify you that Virginia is terminating its membership with ERIC for the following reasons: Mandatory activities required by the membership agreement, such as the Eligible but Unregistered mailing, which are unrelated to list maintenance require the expenditure of hundreds of thousands of dollars in state funds. A review of Virginia’s participation in that mailing also revealed that this requirement involved a third-party group and the sharing of data with that group for research purposes in 2020.
Seven member states have resigned from ERIC, resulting in the announcement that the upcoming year’s budget will require a significant dues increase for remaining members. In addition to an increase in dues, Virginia will see a declining benefit as the state will have access to a reduced amount of states’ data.