Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft has led Missouri out of a consortium of states formed to fight voter fraud. Ashcroft, a Republican, said the Electronic Registration Information Center, known as ERIC, has strayed from its original mission.
Missouri left ERIC, along with the Republican-led states of Florida and West Virginia.
Ashcroft said some states in the group focused too heavily on adding to voter registration rolls at the expense of cracking down on voter fraud.
“Those states seem to want to prioritize trying to fill our voter rolls with people that didn’t want to vote as opposed to making sure our voter rolls were clean and going after people that would cheat,” he told Missourinet affiliate KFEQ in St. Joseph.
As for the claims that voter fraud was rampant in the 2020 presidential election, Ashcroft said it is known some states failed to provide an accurate count. He said he wanted the organization to incorporate better data protection, focus less on voter registration rolls and more on voter fraud, and remove non-voting members from its board.
Ashcroft said critics of his move to lead Missouri out of the Electronic Registration Information Center fail to address his concerns about the center.
“And it seems really interesting to me that everybody seems to be doing their best not to have to defend ERIC’s inactions on things that they should have fixed,” said Ashcroft.
Critics of the move contend the states were doing former President Donald Trump’s bidding as well as inflaming conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election. Ashcroft said he had not communicated with Trump prior to his decision and points out a Tweet by Trump supporting the exit from ERIC came after the decision was announced.
Ashcroft’s name has been brought up as a potential candidate for governor in 2024.
By Brent Martin, of Missourinet affiliate KFEQ in St. Joseph
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