A 2012 Pew Charitable Trusts report estimates that 2.75 million Americans were on voter lists in more than one state and 1.8 million deceased people remained on these rolls. The Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) works with states to help with ensuring the integrity of voter registration records. U.S. Election expert Mary Stegmaier with Mizzou’s Truman School of Public Affairs says nearly two dozen states, not including Missouri, partner with (ERIC).
“A group of states got together to try to come up with a way to use technology and databases to help states more readily identify out of state registrations and registrations for people who have passed away,” says Stegmaier. “The states are essentially pooling their resources in this kind of cooperative to identify duplicates as well as outdated registrations.”
The center, which was launched in 2012 with support from Pew Charitable Trusts, analyzes and matches post office change-of-address forms, death records, vehicle registrations and voter registration records to help ensure accuracy.
Stegmaier says the states with larger populations and destination states tend to have more voter roll issues.
She says using the organization’s services are a much more efficient way to try to combat voter fraud than applying voter ID laws.
“If we don’t have people on duplicate rolls and multiple rolls across states as well as deceased people on the rolls, then this greatly reduces the potential for fraud,” says Stegmaier. “One of the challenges with voter identification is that you really have to really implement this really well. Not only do all Americans who are eligible to vote need to have an ID, which is costly. We don’t have a national ID in the U.S. for all citizens. Poll workers would need some training in how to recognize that the person on the picture is really the person who is there.”
Missouri belongs to the Interstate Voter Registration Cross Check program, which updates voter information annually.
In 2016, Missouri voters approved a photo ID requirement to vote. The first elections under the new law will be in August.