Another red state exits voter registration collective

Secretary of State Wes Allen (R) pulled Alabama from a multistate effort to improve voter roll accuracy.
Alabama Secretary of State, Wes Allen speaks during the inauguration ceremony on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol Monday, Jan. 16, 2023 in Montgomery, Ala.. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Making good on a campaign promise, Secretary of State Wes Allen (R) pulled Alabama from a multistate effort to improve voter roll accuracy.

Thirty-two states are members of the Electronic Registration Information Center, a nonpartisan nonprofit that helps states determine if voters have moved or passed away, have duplicate registrations, or are eligible to vote but unregistered, among other services.

Right-wing media outlets have falsely claimed ERIC is a left-wing scheme that could put private voter data at risk.

“I made a promise to the people of Alabama that ending our state’s relationship with the ERIC organization would be my first official act as Secretary of State,” Allen said in a statement Tuesday. “I came into the office after being sworn in yesterday and signed the letter to ERIC notifying them that Alabama is no longer a participant in any of their programs.”

His statement said he was concerned about the organization’s access to data such as driver’s license numbers, contact information and partial social security numbers of minors.

“Providing the private information of Alabama citizens, including underage minors, to an out of state organization is troubling to me and to people that I heard from as I traveled the state for the last 20 months,” Allen said.

Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin (R) withdrew his state from ERIC last year. His office had concerns about “how the data moves and how it functions within their space,” spokesperson John Tobler told Votebeat, a nonpartisan news outlet that covers elections. Tobler wouldn’t elaborate, but said “it’s not based on a conspiracy theory.”

Allen was one of three secretary of state candidates elected in November after spreading false claims about the integrity and outcome of the 2020 election, according to the nonprofit States United Democracy Center.

The other two were Wyoming’s Chuck Gray (R) and Indiana’s Diego Morales (R). Neither state currently participates in ERIC.