The State of Pennsylvania issued a press release announcing their membership in the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a sophisticated data matching service founded in 2012 by the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Pennsylvania will be joining 14 other states as well as the District of Columbia as a member of ERIC, with the goal to improve the accuracy of America’s voter rolls and increase access to voter registration. This is an immense step toward creating a more modern and cost-efficient voting system. Every 60 days, states send in their Department of Motor Vehicles and voter registration data, all of which is securely transferred and made anonymous, and is then used by ERIC to compare records among states and with data from the US Postal Service and Social Security Administration. Each member state then receives a report that shows them if a voter has moved within the state, moved out of the state, voters that have died, duplicate registrations in a state, and individuals who are potentially eligible to vote but are not registered.
By comparing multiple records across numerous databases, this new technologically advanced system is exceptionally more accurate, with zero false reports to date. Efficient and effective data matching and more precise voter rolls will save money by resulting in less returned mail, fewer provisional ballots on Election Day, shorter lines at polling places, etc. The modernization of this voting system also gets rid of inefficient practices such as paper records, hand mailing, printing costs and manual processing of information.
Marian Schneider, Deputy Secretary for Elections and Administration for the Pennsylvania Department of State, declared in the State’s press release: “Improving the accuracy of Pennsylvania’s voter registration database is a priority for the Department of State. That’s why we have been actively working with stakeholders and other states to find the right tool to achieve that goal. The best option we have found is ERIC.”
The Public Interest Law Center is excited about this development because it goes along with our mission to enhance the integrity of elections by promoting a more engaged electorate and making sure everyone’s vote is counted.