The U.S. District Court in Alaska issued an order on Sept. 19, mandating that Alaska disclose ERIC data reports related to potentially deceased individuals on the state’s voter registration list, including deaths that have occurred within the last three years.
That data must be made public by Oct. 19.
The order could reverberate across the nation, as it represents the first time a federal judge has required ERIC data to be publicly disclosed. It also nullifies the agreement between ERIC and other states that made those states immune to public scrutiny.
ERIC (Electronic Registration Information Center) has an extensive footprint when it comes to states’ voter-roll management. A total of 24 states and the District of Columbia are ERIC members.
In particular, the foundation wanted to know about “registered voters” who were “deceased or potentially deceased,” along with confirmation that they had been removed from the voter rolls.
Established by Democratic operative David Becker, ERIC is sold to states as an easy way to manage and update their voter registration data. Critics of the system, however, say it inflates voter registrations to the benefit of Democratic and left leaning political groups.
States that agree to participate in ERIC’s services are not allowed to share ERIC reports with the public.
Back in August of 2021, the Public Interest Legal Foundation formally requested ERIC voter-roll information from the Alaska Division of Election. PILF claims to be the nation’s only public interest law firm “dedicated wholly to election integrity.”
PILF alleged that ERIC reports are “records” subject to the disclosure provision of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), which requires the disclosure of “all records concerning the implementation of programs and activities conducted for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy and currency of official lists of eligible voters.” The NVRA disclosure provisions has only two exceptions, documents showing an individual declined to register to vote and the identity of the government office through which any particular registrant was registered.
PILF’s request related to Alaska voter data from 2019 to 2021. In particular, the foundation wanted to know about “registered voters” who were “deceased or potentially deceased,” along with confirmation that they had been removed from the voter rolls.
ALASKA WATCHMAN DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX
According to the Sept. 19 order, Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom must now provide PILF with Alaska’s ERIC reports from 2019-2021, with voter ID numbers and Social Security data redacted.
“This is a landmark victory to knock down ERIC’s wall of secrecy,” said PILF President J. Christian Adams.
“I want to thank the Alaska Attorney General, Treg Taylor, for his commitment to transparent elections,” Adams added. “All other ERIC member states should take notice that the public has a right to inspect ERIC records.”
PILF has three ongoing lawsuits in Louisiana, Colorado, and the District of Columbia to obtain ERIC reports and to affirm the public’s federal right to inspect information used to decide who is and who is not eligible to vote.