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Florida withdraws from voter information system

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Florida has withdrawn from membership in an organization that assists states in improving the integrity of voter rolls.  The state has withdrawn on grounds that voter privacy might be compromised.  Florida became a member of ERIC in 2019 to “ensure our voter rolls are up-to-date and… increase voter participation in our elections,” according to a statement from Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Established in 2012 with assistance from The Pew Charitable Trusts, the non-profit Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) provides member states with updated voter information, including reports that show which voters have relocated within the state, moved out of state, those who are potentially eligible to vote but have not been registered and whose have died. The reports also show duplicate registrations on member-state voter rolls.

As of November 2022, 32 states, including Florida, held membership in the organization.

On March 6, Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd notified ERIC that Florida was terminating its membership in the organization on grounds that efforts to reform the group to secure voter data and eliminate the group’s alleged partisan tendencies were rejected.

As Secretary of State, I have an obligation to protect the personal information of Florida’s citizens, which the ERIC agreement requires us to share,” Byrd said. “Florida has tried to back reforms to increase protections, but these protections were refused. Therefore, we have lost confidence in ERIC.”

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According to Byrd, those proposed reforms would have increased protections for confidential voter information and limited the power of ex-officio partisan members of the ERIC board.

The States of Missouri and West Virginia also withdrew their memberships in ERIC on March 6.

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