After over a year of questioning the integrity and purpose of the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), new Alabama Secretary of State Wes Allen went a step further after pulling Alabama from the center and went to the physical address ERIC gave for its office. What he found was virtually nothing.
“I was in DC for a meeting of the National Association of Secretaries of States, and, since I was in town, I went to see the ERIC Headquarters,” Allen said. “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. What it was missing was people, servers and any sign of the ERIC team.”
Allen said the company at the address, Expansive, is a virtual shared workspace that rents space across the country. There is no way to tell where the actual headquarters is located and where servers with the personal information of millions of people are because ERIC has employees throughout the United States, although it is a small company.
For years, Alabama participated in the ERIC program. According to its website, ERIC is a non-profit organization whose mission is to assist states in improving the accuracy of their voter rolls and increasing access to voter registration for all eligible citizens.
When Allen was running for Secretary of State, he vowed to remove the state from ERIC if he won the election. Allen’s first official act in office was doing just that. But he didn’t stop there.
“Before I took office, Alabama transmitted the personal information of millions of our citizens to this private organization for the past several years,” he added. “That information is stored on a server somewhere, but we do not know where. There is no ERIC operation at the location they claim is their office. A lot of personal data and taxpayer money has been transferred to ERIC. Where is that data? Where are the employees? Where are the offices? Where are the computers?”
1819 News reached out to ERIC administrators and left a message to ask these questions, but that phone call has not been returned.
Learn more about ERIC and view the in-depth reporting from 1819 News.
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