For Immediate Release
Monday, March 6, 2023
Contact: Mark Ard
PRESS RELEASE: Florida Withdraws From Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) Amid Concerns About Data Privacy and Blatant Partisanship
TALLAHASSEE, FLA –
Today, Secretary of State Cord Byrd notified the Electronic Registration Information Center, Inc. (ERIC), that Florida is terminating its ERIC Membership. Today’s announcement follows efforts led by Florida over the past year to reform ERIC through attempts to secure data and eliminate ERIC’s partisan tendencies, all of which were rejected. Withdrawing from ERIC will ensure the data privacy of Florida voters is protected. Florida is joined in withdrawing from ERIC Membership today by the states of Missouri and West Virginia.
“As Secretary of State, I have an obligation to protect the personal information of Florida’s citizens, which the ERIC agreement requires us to share,” said Secretary of State, Cord Byrd. “Florida has tried to back reforms to increase protections, but these protections were refused. Therefore, we have lost confidence in ERIC.”
In 2022, a working group of ERIC member states was formed and proposed necessary changes to the ERIC Membership agreement. These reforms would have eliminated concerns about ERIC’s potential partisan leanings, and made the information shared with ERIC more secure.
Specifically, Florida backed the working group’s proposals including increased protections for confidential voter information and limiting the power of ex-officio partisan members of the ERIC board. These ex-officio partisan members are not representatives of specific states and have undue influence over the organization and its decisions.
However, given the unwillingness of ERIC to address these significant issues of electoral integrity, it is in the best interest of Florida, its citizens, and its voters to withdraw its membership from ERIC.
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