“Documents show Republican-led states struggling to clean voter rolls after leaving ERIC”

Jen Fifield at Votebeat:

Some Republican-led states are struggling to develop new ways to adequately update their voter rolls after withdrawing from a popular cross-state voter roll cleaning program that came under attack by far-right election activists, according to new documents and internal emails reviewed by Votebeat.

Virginia paid $29,000 in September to regain access to just a sliver of the data they used to obtain via the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC. Alabama and Missouri officials took months to come up with new plans for cleaning voter rolls, landing on plans that are less rigorous than ERIC. And a new system some states are considering to help with voter roll cleanup had its server attacked and temporarily brought down, according to documents obtained by left-leaning watchdog group American Oversight and exclusively shared with Votebeat.

The documents also show that senior advisors to secretaries of state in Missouri and Texas recognized that lies were being spread about ERIC, and tried to stop their states from withdrawing from what they saw as a valuable program. In addition, officials in some states such as Ohio had pushed unsuccessfully for changes to ERIC that could have kept their states from withdrawing.

“As you know, I really worked as hard as I possibly could to avoid this,” Amanda Grandjean, then the senior advisor to the Ohio secretary of state, wrote in an email to ERIC executive director Shane Hamlin after Ohio withdrew from the program in March.

(I blogged some of my reaction to the ERIC withdrawals in March here.)

This post has been updated in light of a correction to the story.

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