The recent request from President Donald Trump’s vote fraud commission for a mountain of sensitive data from the states sparked a backlash and baffled many officials — not only because of concerns about privacy and security but because an organization already exists doing much of the same work. “There’s no reason to re-invent the wheel when we’re already here…and we do it very well,” said Shane Hamlin, executive director of the Election Registration Information Center, also known as ERIC. ERIC is a non-profit group currently made up of 20 states — both red and blue — and the District of Columbia that shares large amounts of sensitive voter data to root out possible fraud, ensure more accurate voter rolls and encourage registration.
Hamlin, a former election official in Washington State, said he was stunned when he read the letter from Trump’s commission seeking voter information from all 50 states.
“It wasn’t clear how they were going to protect the data and generate results that were actually going to be usable,” he said. “If you have garbage in, you’re going to get garbage out.”
Marc Lotter, a spokesman for the panel’s co chair, Vice President Mike Pence, has said the letter was the start of a “fact-finding process.”