Montgomery, AL – Alabama Secretary of State, John Merrill has publicly and official slammed Secretary of State-elect Wes Allen for what has been deemed premature actions. In his recent letter to the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), Secretary of State-elect Wes Allen stated that Alabama is leaving ERIC. Per John Merrill this is a premature statement, as he cannot officially make that determination until after the date he takes office.
Secretary of State Merrill went on to make the following statement:
This continued narrative of ERIC being a George Soros system is untrue. ERIC was not founded nor funded by George Soros, and to claim otherwise is either dishonest or misinformed. ERIC was founded by the original seven-member states: Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, Utah, Virginia, and Washington with the assistance of Pew Charitable Trust. Also, ERIC’s operating costs are funded completely by annual dues paid by member states, not by George Soros.
Alabama uses ERIC to preserve a clean and accurate voter list. We have not experienced one negative issue because of our relationship with ERIC. In fact, ERIC identified 12 confirmed incidents of voter fraud during the 2020 election where citizens voted in both Alabama and another member state. These cases have been turned over to the Attorney General’s Office for investigation. Other member states are currently working with Alabama to identify other incidents of voter fraud. This would not have been possible without our partnership with ERIC. How does Mr. Allen propose that these will be identified in the future?
Our office does not have direct access to other states’ voter databases or driver’s license records or access to the Social Security Administration Death Master Index. ERIC does. Finally, neither the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency nor our office have the ability to compare driver’s license records for our state with other states for the purpose of voter list maintenance. ERIC does.
So, if Wes Allen plans to remove Alabama from its relationship with ERIC, how does he intend to maintain election security without access to the necessary data, legal authority, or capability to conduct proper voter list maintenance?
As Florida Governor DeSantis stated in his August 18th press conference, ERIC allows us to identify and prosecute individuals who vote in two different states in one election cycle. Like Governor Ron DeSantis, I believe that ERIC is one of the premier sources that assists states in identifying voter fraud. That is one of the reasons Alabamians should continue to support the use of ERIC, and Governor DeSantis’ leadership in this all-important issue is appreciated.