Virginia withdraws from ERIC
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Virginia has withdrawn from the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, which has the purpose of identifying voters who should be removed from registration rolls.
It is now the eighth state to make this move.
"Keep the voting rolls clean," said Larry Sabato with the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
Sabato says there are a number of reasons why rolls need to be cleaned out.
"People are born and people die and the people who die need to be taken off the rolls," he said.
He also says it can prevent voters from voting in multiple states.
"The majority, large majority do not do that, but some do it, some take that opportunity. You have to get them off the rolls in all but one state," said Sabato.
Virginia is now the latest Republican-led state to remove itself.
"What is absurd about this is the only real opposition to this group is from conspiracy theorists who are connected to Donald Trump," Sabato said. "They're still trying to prove that Donald Trump is the legitimate president and that Joe Biden stole the election, which is horse manure."
Sabato believes the motives for this are political and counterproductive.
"What is truly ironic about this is they are destroying an organization that's designed to reduce the opportunity for vote fraud. I thought that's what they were worried about," he said.
Governor Glenn Youngkin's office provided a statement on why the state was withdrawing, claiming Virginians’ data was being shared with an ERIC-affiliated research organization and it was in the best interest of taxpayers, saying "it was also necessary to remove the Commonwealth from ERIC's significantly increasing costs."
Sabato doesn't buy it.
"This is a classic example of making a decision based on politics and then trying to find some underlying bureaucratic reasons to justify what you've done,” he said.
Sabato adds that what Youngkin is doing could hurt democracy.
"He's doing a dangerous, disruptive thing that actually hurts the election system, there is just no justification for it," he said.
Sabato is sure the next Democratic governor will restore Virginia to ERIC, assuming the organization still exists.