“Kobach’s Looking-Glass Commission”

Eliza Newlin Carney:

That’s why a Kobach-launched database dubbed the Interstate Crosscheck Program, designed to eliminate registrations in more than one state, is so riddled with errors. The program “promotes purging registration records that share a common name and date of birth,” concludes a recent study by several leading scholars, an approach that would yield 200 false positives for every legitimate case of double-registration.

By contrast, a sophisticated database created in 2009 by a bipartisan team of election administrators, technology experts, and academics has proven far more reliable. Its creators spent more than three years hashing out how to accurately and securely cross-check voter data between states. The result was the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), now a nonprofit consortium run by 20 states and the District of Columbia.

Several election experts have wondered why Trump’s commission didn’t make ERIC its first stop when seeking voter data. Wayne Williams, the Republican secretary of state of Colorado, recently urged Kobach in a letter to learn about ERIC’s processes and security protocols. While the commission’s request for voter data “may serve a purpose,” Williams cautioned, “a single request for data that lacks the non-public data necessary to accurately match voters across states can’t be used to effectively assess the accuracy of voter rolls.”

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