The American Policy Center sent an article dealing with the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC). We sent an email to Mr. Ross McDonald, Director of the Lake County Board of Elections asking if they use ERIC to maintain the voter database.
Mr. McDonald responded with a detailed explanation and his opinions on the American Policy Center article. We thank Mr. McDonald for his transparency and prompt response to our questions.
Brian Massie, Executive Director / March 4, 2022
We received the following article from the American Policy Center dealing with the ERIC database software system. Please be advised that I read everything with a modicum of distrust. Verify then trust has become my mantra.
From one of our previous conversations, you had said that the Lake County Board of Elections uses “ERIC”. However, I was not knowledgeable about their services at that time.
Upon reading the article, I saw some very disturbing statements:
“The Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) is a nation-wide voter data-gathering system, funded by the Pew Center and an “anonymous” donor, the Soros Open Society. Designed by activists in 2014, it is a membership organization established to maintain states’ voter rolls. Please don’t misunderstand. Legitimate maintenance of voter rolls, although required of every state by law, was not the intent of ERIC.”
“Let me highlight this provision of ERIC membership, from its own bylaws: “Under no circumstances shall the members transmit any record indicating an individual is a non-citizen of the U.S.” This, lest you be confused about the intent of the organization.”
“In reality, ERIC creates a left-wing voter registration drive, using an incredibly complete list of potential voters it obtains from member states – at the taxpayers’ expense, which (sic) expenditure climbs to millions of dollars per state after all the ERIC mandates are fulfilled. In other words, the residents of ERIC member states are paying for the destruction of their own voter integrity, and this hurts both parties.”
“Data collection does not stop with DMV and voter records. ERIC requires submission from each state of totals of provisional ballots counted, totals of those uncounted, and why. ERIC demands to know how many voters changed or updated their registrations on the day of voting; how many paper ballots were cast, and how many electronic votes were tabulated. ERIC even requires names of all individuals who participate in the act of registeriing (sic) voters, including public library staff, DHS, Depts. of Health and Public Safety, and volunteer organizations.”
You know that I have been rather vigilant, at a personal cost to me, in trying to squash any suggestion that there is, or was, voter fraud in Lake County. For Lobbyists for Citizens, it is paramount that citizens have total confidence that we have free and fair elections. I told you that I will never bear false witness, and I will continue to live by that principle.
Can you please confirm for me whether the Lake County Board of Elections uses ERIC? Also,how much is paid to use their services? Are the statements made in the article correct? If there is any other statement that you would like to make about the controls the BOE maintains to ensure integrity in our voter database, we would gladly inform the public.
I will gladly speak out in public if there are false statements in the American Policy Center article.
Thank you for your efforts on behalf of the Lake County taxpayers.
Lobbyists for Citizens
a 501 (c) (4) Non-Profit
Here is Mr. Ross McDonald’s response to our questions.
We are provided data from the Ohio Secretary of State that does indeed contain ERIC data. That data is used to strengthen the integrity of voter rolls through multi-state information sharing. The Lake County Board of Elections does not pay to participate in ERIC, because that relationship is between ERIC and the States, not ERIC and individual Ohio Counties.
Here are the states that are members (31 states plus D.C.): Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. As you see, a mix of solid R states, solid D states, and some we see as tossups.
My only comment on the article is that we do not use ERIC data to register citizens to vote in Ohio. The act of registering to vote is initiated by the voter under penalty of election falsification (a felony), so when the writer says it is creating a “left-wing voter registration drive” I have no idea how she has arrived to that conclusion. If anything, it shows that the writer has zero technical understanding of how ERIC data is actually used. I’d be curious if she bothered to contact an election official before writing this article? This is a common error we’ve seen bloggers make ad nauseam, even before 2020.
ERIC, I would argue, catches individuals who may be actively registered to vote in two states at one time thereby empowering election officials to contact the voter to determine exactly what is going on, and remove them from the state they no longer reside. When a person moves out of state, one of the last things on their mind is “I should cancel my voter registration.” ERIC is there to cleanup those abandoned active registrations, thus closing potential avenues to fraud.
Amanda Grandjean, the state’s Election Director, is the Ohio Secretary of State’s representative to the ERIC Board. Her email is: agrandjean@OhioSOS.Gov.
At the end of the day, do I think ERIC data has helped prevent fraud and strengthen voter rolls? Yes. [Emphasis added by LFC]
Ross McDonald │Director
105 Main St. Ste. 107
Painesville, OH 44077
O: (440) 350-2404 │lakecountyohio.gov/lakeelections