Washington, D.C.– Voter rolls across the country are going to become more accurate and complete in the coming months following the news out of Michigan that the state has joined the leading interstate voter registration data sharing program.
The Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) program uses states’ voter registration and motor vehicle records among other information to identify individuals who are eligible to vote, but not yet registered, as well as to flag that a voter may have moved to another state. It allows states to keep their voter rolls complete and accurate, wh ich results in more eligible Americans having access to the polls and increased efficiencies in conducting elections. With the addition of Michigan, there are now 25 states plus the District of Columbia sharing information through ERIC.
The Bipartisan Policy Center actively promotes voter modernization policies such as online voter registration and interstate voter registration data sharing. Since 2017, BPC has worked with members of the Michigan House and Senate, the political parties, and the Michigan Secretary of State’s office on policies that would move Michigan toward a modern registration system. The state added online voter registration in 2018 and joined ERIC in 2019.
“It is great when any state joins a program like ERIC, but the addition of Michigan feels more like a tipping point,” said Matthew Weil, senior associate director of the Democracy Project at BPC. “Half the states have now joined the program, and roughly two in five eligible voters reside in a state that shares data to improve their lists.”
“Michigan is another large state to add to the ERIC program, but many other targets remain,” said Christopher Thomas, a BPC fellow and former Michigan state election director for 35 years. “The program improves with each additional state and allows for a smoother voting experience for each American voter.”