At a time of hyperpolarization over voting and elections, Democrats and Republicans had largely managed to agree on one thing — that a little-known data-sharing consortium of more than 30 states has helped keep voter rolls updated and free of opportunities for fraud.
But the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), as the consortium is known, has been straining lately under the weight of accusations and misinformation from election deniers. Critics, some of whom have aligned themselves with the false stolen-election narrative of former president Donald Trump, have claimed that the group is actually a left-wing vehicle that shares sensitive voter data with liberal groups, encourages bloated and inaccurate rolls and enables the very fraud it is intended to stamp out. ERIC’s leaders deny these accusations.
Now, ERIC’s survival is in jeopardy, with Republican-led states withdrawing, others threatening to do so and heated disputes breaking out among members over how to save the organization.