Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC)


The Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization created by and comprised of state election officials from around the United States. Founded in 2012, ERIC is funded and governed by states that choose to join.

Member states securely submit voter registration and motor vehicle department data to ERIC. ERIC is also certified to use official death data from the Social Security Administration and subscribes to change of address data from the United States Postal Service. 

ERIC is the most effective tool available to help election officials maintain more accurate voter rolls and detect possible illegal voting. ERIC also helps states reach out to potentially eligible but not yet registered individuals with information on how best to register to vote.

The Electronic Registration Information Center, known as ERIC, has a record of combating voter fraud by identifying those who have died or moved between states.
The Associated Press

    As the official record of all eligible voters in a state, a state’s voter registration rolls are the foundation of free, fair, and accurate elections. Most states are required by the National Voter Registration Act to “conduct a general program that makes a reasonable effort to remove the names of ineligible voters” from the rolls. States not subject to this federal law have state “list maintenance” laws aimed at keeping voter records up to date. Illegal voting is exceedingly rare but maintaining accurate voter rolls reduces the opportunity for such behavior and it helps build confidence in elections.

    Keeping voter registration rolls up to date is a challenge though, because every day voters move or die. Voters don’t always remember to update their voter registration. Family members rarely report the death of a loved one to election officials. ERIC was created to address these challenges. Inaccurate, Costly, and Inefficient, published in 2012, found that approximately 1 out of 8 voter registrations in the U.S. were no longer valid or significantly inaccurate, more than 1.8 million deceased individuals were listed as voters, and approximately 2.75 million people had registrations in more than one state. Additionally, the report estimated there were at least 51 million eligible U.S. citizens who were not registered – about 24 percent of the eligible population.

    The seven states that founded ERIC in 2012 believed using state-of-the-art data matching technology, a robust and safe data sharing program built on widely accepted information security standards, and an unprecedented commitment to cooperation would vastly improve their ability to maintain accurate voter rolls. It would also have the added benefit of allowing them to reach out to unregistered but likely eligible individuals far more accurately and efficiently than anyone else.

    At least every 60 days, each member submits their voter registration data and licensing and identification data from motor vehicle departments (MVD) to ERIC. ERIC refers to these data as Member Data. ERIC’s technical staff uses sophisticated data matching software to compare Member Data from all member states, sometimes with data from other sources, to create the following four “list maintenance” reports.

    Cross-State Movers Report: Identifies voters who appear to have moved from one ERIC member to another using voter registration data and MVD data.
    In-State Updates Report: Identifies voters who appear to have moved within the jurisdiction, or who recently updated their contact information, using voter registration and MVD data.
    Duplicate Report: Identifies voters with duplicate registrations in the same state using voter registration data and MVD data.
    Deceased Report: Identifies voters who have died using voter registration data and Social Security death data known as the Limited Access Death Master File and MVD data.

    In addition, ERIC offers three other reports:

    Eligible but Unregistered Report: Identifies individuals who appear to be eligible but who are not yet registered by matching voter registration data against MVD data.
    National Change of Address (NCOA) Report: Identifies voters who have moved using official data ERIC licenses from the US Postal Service.
    Voter Participation Report: For each federal general election, members can request reports identifying voters who appear to have voted more than once in the member jurisdiction in the same election, in more than one member jurisdiction in the same election, or on behalf of a deceased voter within the member jurisdiction.

    Simply put, ERIC compares a member’s voter records to other members’ voter records, MVD records, and to federal deceased data and national change of address data, for the purposes of flagging differences that indicate a member’s voter record may be out of date or inaccurate.

    Refer to the “How Does It Work” page or access the Bylaws and Membership Agreement on the “About ERIC” page at www.ericstates.org for more information on the reports.

    Which states are members of ERIC?

    Besides Wisconsin, more than two dozen states are part of ERIC, including neighboring Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota.

    Map of ERIC member states

      Wisconsin Statute § 6.36(1)(ae)
      1. The chief election officer shall enter into a membership agreement with Electronic Registration Information Center, Inc., for the purpose of maintaining the official registration list under this section. Prior to entering into an agreement under this subdivision, the chief election officer shall ensure that the agreement satisfies all of the following conditions:
      a. It safeguards the confidentiality of information or data in the registration list that may be subject to transfer under the agreement and to which access is restricted under par. (b) 1. a.
      b. It prohibits the sale or distribution of the information or data in the registration list to a 3rd-party vendor and it prohibits any other action not associated with administration of or compliance with the agreement.
      c. It does not affect the exemption for this state under the national voter registration act.
      d. It allows the state to make contact with electors by electronic mail, whenever possible.
      2. If the chief election officer enters into an agreement under subd. 1., the chief election officer shall comply with the terms of the agreement, including the transmission of information and data related to the registration of electors in this state to the Electronic Registration Information Center, Inc., for processing and sharing with other member states and governmental units.

      Wisconsin joined ERIC in 2016 as part of a piece of legislation signed by former Gov. Scott Walker that enacted online voter registration and other changes to voting laws. Walker said the bill "brings Wisconsin elections into the 21st century." 

      Wisconsin receives all ERIC reports on a regular basis and uses technology to inform local clerks of the voter records in their jurisdictions that may need to be updated or deactivated. In most cases, local clerks, not the Wisconsin Elections Commission, are ultimately responsible for determining whether there is enough reliable information and, if appropriate, updating or deactivating the voter record. 

      The Wisconsin Elections Commission, rather than local clerks, is solely responsible for updating or deactivating the voting records of people who are suspected of having moved out of state. 

      While the Wisconsin Elections Commission is able to generate some of ERIC's data reports on its own, using Wisconsin's statewide voter registration system, the breadth and depth of ERIC's voter data remains unmatched. 

      Members fund ERIC. New members pay a one-time membership fee of $25,000, which is reserved for technology upgrades and other unanticipated expenses. Members also pay annual dues. Annual dues cover operating costs and are based, in part, on the citizen voting age population in each state. Thus, large jurisdictions pay more in annual dues than smaller ones. Members approve their dues and the annual budget. Dues for the 2022-23 fiscal year range from about $26,000 to about $116,000. ERIC’s 2022-23 operating budget is about $1,538,000. ERIC conducts annual independent audits of its financial statements.

      In the 2022-23 fiscal year, the Wisconsin Elections Commission spent about $45,164 on ERIC membership dues.

      ERIC’s Washington, D.C. address is a mailing address only. Like other organizations, employees work remotely. ERIC members are aware of this arrangement. It reduces operating costs without sacrificing security or our ability to serve our member’s needs. ERIC’s servers are housed in a managed, secure data center located in the U.S. Secure remote access to the data center is limited to only employees who need it to perform their duties.