Charleston, W.Va – Today, WV Secretary of State Mac Warner announced West Virginia’s resignation from the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC). Other states joining West Virginia in resignation today are Florida and Missouri, while Louisiana and Alabama previously resigned.
On Sunday, February 19, 2023, the ERIC Board of Directors met in Washington, DC, to consider changes to the bylaws and membership agreement recommended by a bi-partisan working group of several member states. After a last-second change to the agenda and disjointed discussions interrupted numerous times by non-voting, non-dues-paying individuals, the ERIC Board rejected critical working group recommended changes that would have prevented third-party influences from serving as non-state ex officio members to the ERIC Board of Directors.
The Board also tabled the vote of several other important membership changes recommended by the bi-partisan working group, despite having months of discussions and communications with member states about the proposals.
With the ERIC Board’s recent action, the inexplicable opportunity remains for partisan, non-state actors to hold influential positions within the organization.
“There is no defensible justification to allow any opportunity for partisanship in voter registration and list maintenance, much less in the administration of our nation’s elections,” said Secretary of State Mac Warner. “It truly is a shame that an organization founded on the principle of nonpartisanship would allow the opportunity for partisanship to stray the organization from the equally important principle of upholding the public’s confidence.”
West Virginia will take the necessary steps to supplement state list-maintenance data sources that ERIC had facilitated. The State will continue list maintenance efforts to identify voters who move out of the state with the US Postal Service. Deceased voters can be identified via the Social Security Administration Master Death File, abandoned voter registrations from DMV, and other means.
“West Virginia's County Clerks have completed tremendous amounts of work and we now have the cleanest voter rolls in the history of our state,” said Warner. “That work will continue as we protect against both perceived and real threats from undue influence and partisanship in election administration.”
Secretary Warner's letter notifying ERIC of the state's decision to leave the organization can be found here.