“Activists are currently testing a computer program called EagleAI NETwork, a database loaded with voter rolls and other records that promises to quickly churn through the data and find registrations that may be suspect based on other sources. The activists then personally evaluate the flagged voter registrations one by one — looking up home addresses on Google Maps, searching for obituaries online — and prepare lists of questionable registrations to report to local officials. …
“’EagleAI presentations that I have seen are confused and seem to steer counties towards improper list maintenance activities,’ Blake Evans, Georgia’s elections director, said in a statement to NBC News. ‘EagleAI draws inaccurate conclusions and then presents them as if they are evidence of wrongdoing.’ …
“…Evans said the company is misunderstanding — and misconstruing — how list maintenance works, and painting typos and formatting differences, like typing a voter registration in all caps, as problems.
“’Eagle AI data offers zero additional value to Georgia’s existing list maintenance procedures,’ Evans added.
“’The results are going to vastly over-inflate potentially inaccurate voter registrations,’ said David Becker, an election expert who led the effort to create ERIC, which is run and financially supported by member states.
And while he warned the election officials might get overwhelmed by reports, he’s most worried about the voters.
“’Imagine if you got a notice in the mail saying that your eligibility as a registered voter in the place where you live is being challenged for some uncertain reason. You have to actually physically present yourself … to prove you are who you are and that you’re entitled to vote where you always voted,’ he said. ‘That could happen with not a handful of people, but with potentially thousands.’”
The story discusses how this is being developed as an alternative to ERIC and goes on to describe Cleta Mitchell’s involvement with the project.
The concern with excessive eligibility challenges of this nature are clear. It’s similar to the overuse of FOIA-type request we saw with election administration records after 2020. Inundation of the system overloads the system and it’s like a denial-of-service attack.
On the other hand, we obviously have a huge trust-deficit problem in this country right now with respect to election administration. And while the attack on ERIC seemed entirely unjustified to me, we need something to replace it that’s workable and acceptable to both sides of the polarized partisan divide on the topic of election administration. While the analogy to the North Ireland peace accord is not perfect, the basic point is elections necessarily involve competition between the left and the right, and we have got to figure out a way to make that competition appear transparent and fair and trustworthy to the two competing teams.
I will be curious to hear what Charles Stewart, among others, thinks about the best way forward on this issue in what seems to be inevitably, whether we like it or not, a post-ERIC world.