Alabama Unveils New Voter Roll Verification System, Cans Democrat-Supported System

A growing number of Republican states are scrapping the widely used ERIC system, which some have blamed for questionable election outcomes.
Alabama Unveils New Voter Roll Verification System, Cans Democrat-Supported System
Voter enters a polling station at Floyd Middle Magnet School during the Democratic presidential primary in Montgomery, Ala., on March 3, 2020. (Joshua Lott/AFP via Getty Images)
Alice Giordano
In a move to end voter fraud, the state of Alabama announced on Monday it has created its own unique database that can identify duplicate and nonresident voters and deceased residents still listed on the state's voter rolls.
Called the Alabama Voter Integrity Database or AVID, Alabama Secretary of State Wes Allen announced at a press conference that the state will use it to replace the controversial ERIC system. 
"We are the first state in the nation to implement a system like this and I am confident that we, as a result of AVID, will have the cleanest voter rolls that we have ever had," Mr. Allen said at a press conference announcing the switch.
ERIC is short for Electronic Registration Information Center
Mr. Allen described AVID as a historic four-pronged system that will include the first-of-its-kind nationwide comparison of the Social Security Administration's death index and the U.S. Postal Service's Change of Address database against Alabama's active voter registration list.
It also creates partnerships with five neighboring states to share voter data and establishes an agreement with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to identify residents who have obtained state IDs elsewhere. "We have never had that ability before," Mr. Allen said.
 The Eagle Forum of Alabama, which advocates for both local and national campaign reform, hailed the replacement, emphasizing that, unlike the privately run ERIC system, the AVID server is located and managed in Alabama. 
"I look forward to seeing AVID implemented fully and I hope other states that have pulled out of ERIC will consider developing a system like AVID to protect their voters, too," said Eagle Forum executive director Becky Gerritson.

Scrapping ERIC 

Alabama is among a growing number of mostly Republican-run states scrapping the ERIC system, the brainchild of David Becker, who worked as an attorney for Pew Charitable Trusts and is a former prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice.
In 2022, Verity Vote published findings of an investigation that the ERIC system also has ties to an NGO funded by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan.
The other states that have dropped the use of the ERIC system are Florida, Louisiana, West Virginia, Missouri, Ohio, Iowa, Virginia, and Arizona. Texas and Wisconsin are contemplating legislation to end its use to validate its voter rolls.
Some states have objected to restricted data sharing under the ERIC system, including one rule prohibiting member states from identifying a registered voter as a noncitizen.
Others, including Alabama, have also accused ERIC of databasing vital information on the licenses of minors not yet old enough to vote for questionable uses.
That leaves about 25 states using the ERIC system, which some believe is so flawed it was responsible for the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Other states use different programs to validate voter rolls.
 Voters exit after casting their ballots at a polling station setup in the fire department in a file photo. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Voters exit after casting their ballots at a polling station setup in the fire department in a file photo. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Bogus Votes Concerns 

In June, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported on the growing number of states scrapping the ERIC system based on the belief it is helping foster election results based on bogus votes.
In the report, J. Christian Adams of the Public Interest Legal Fund said one of the primary problems with the ERIC system is it does not track and compare interstate data.
“States need to share data because there is no other way to tell if people are voting in multiple states," he said. "Unless you’re talking across state lines, there will be undetected violations of federal law that prohibit double voting in the same election.”
In March, Judicial Watch released a report identifying federal election violations by ERIC. It concluded the system as a “syndicate founded by leftists” and “far more effective at swelling voter registration rolls than at keeping them clean.”
Former President Donald Trump also called on Republican states to junk ERIC.
 Americans vote at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens polling place in Madison, Wis., on Nov. 8, 2022. (Jim Vondruska/Getty Images)
Americans vote at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens polling place in Madison, Wis., on Nov. 8, 2022. (Jim Vondruska/Getty Images)
However, many debunked the claims as conservative propaganda, and several liberal media outlets, such as National Public Radio, responded with their own opinion that the Republican audits of the ERIC system were "spreading misinformation."
Danielle Lang, a voting rights litigator for the Campaign Legal Center, told The Guardian that Judicial Watch's investigation "was badly flawed" and based "largely on supposition, inaccuracies and personal attacks.”
Campaign Legal Center founder Trevor  Potter, a former chair of the Federal Election Commission and who served as legal counsel to both John McCain's presidential campaigns, has repeatedly condemned the Jan. 6 protests of the 2020 presidential election results. 
"The rising threat of political violence from these lies prompted the incumbent national security and federal law enforcement apparatus to reassure the public that the 2020 election was 'the most secure in American history' with 'no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised' and no serious evidence of voter fraud," Mr. Potter said in an April 2021 written testimony to a U.S. House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capital. 
ERIC system did not respond right away to inquiries from The Epoch Times.

'Everything to do With Accountability'

Following the press conference, Mr. Allen told The Epoch Times that when he went to the Washington D.C. address listed as ERIC's headquarters, he found only a virtual office.
"What I found was that there was no ERIC headquarters at that address. There were no employees. There were no servers. There was no ERIC presence of any kind. Instead, I found a virtual office that is rentable by the day," said Mr. Allen.
According to Mr. Allen, a run of AVID already identified 8,501 voters who voted in Tennessee but remain registered voters in Alabama.
He said AVID has also already detected more than 30,000 active registered Alabama voters who filed for a change of address with the U.S. Postal Service outside the state.
"The switch from Eric to AVID has nothing to do with party lines and everything to do with accountability," Mr. Allen told The Epoch Times.
Alice Giordano is a freelance reporter for The Epoch Times. She is a former news correspondent for The Boston Globe, Associated Press, and the New England bureau of The New York Times.