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Texas Becomes Largest Republican-led State to Exit Voter Data Group

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Friday, September 8, 2023   

There was no evidence of significance voter fraud in the 2020 election, but it has not stopped Texas from withdrawing from a system used by 30 states to keep voter rolls updated.

The Electronic Registration Information Center, better known as ERIC, aims to ensure voters are not registered or voting in more than one state at the same time. But sponsors of the partisan bill argued it is a "left-wing" coalition with a worldview not shared by Texas Republicans who dominate the legislature.

Mark Jones, political science professor at Rice University, believes many Texas lawmakers were responding to perceptions, not facts.

"Many Republican lawmakers feel compelled to pass legislation that shows them fighting against this alleged voter fraud," Jones explained. "Even though it doesn't exist, Republican primary voters believe it does and want to see them actually doing something to combat it."

Texas identified 100,000 duplicate voters using ERIC data last year and another 100,000 duplicates of people who moved in or out of state. The state will officially have left the coalition before the next election.

Jones does not expect Texas to save money by leaving ERIC and creating its own system to cross-check voter rolls. In fact, he sees only negative consequences.

"Belonging to ERIC does not increase fraud in any state," Jones pointed out. "Not belonging to ERIC will cause your voter rolls to become increasingly less and less reliable as people who move out of state remain registered to vote in their different localities."

Eight other Republican-led states also have resigned from ERIC since 2022 after facing similar political pressure, but Texas is the largest state so far to leave the nonprofit coalition.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.


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