Ohio and Iowa became the latest GOP-led states to indicate they’re withdrawing from the national voter verification coalition over concerns about its impartiality.
Frank LaRose, Ohio’s secretary of state rumored to be mulling a run for the U.S. Senate in 2024, announced the decision in a letter (pdf) to the director of the coalition, called the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).
“I cannot justify the use of Ohio’s tax dollars for an organization that seems intent on rejecting meaningful accountability, publicly maligning my motives, and waging a relentless campaign of misinformation about this effort,” LaRose wrote.
LaRose’s letter came soon after member states that are part of the coalition held a meeting on Friday and a proposal to reform some of the coalition’s bylaws failed.
“ERIC has chosen repeatedly to ignore demands to embrace reforms that would bolster confidence in its performance, encourage growth in its membership, and ensure not only its present stability but also its durability,” LaRose wrote.
He argued that the coalition has transformed from a “previously bipartisan organization to one that appears to favor only the interests of one political party.”
Following Friday’s meeting, Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate was cited by Politico as saying that the departure of several states from the coalition undermines its ability to serve as an effective tool for Iowa.
“My office will be recommending resigning our membership from ERIC,” Pate said, per Politico.
A request for comment sent to ERIC outside of normal working hours was not immediately returned.
Iowa and Ohio are the sixth and seventh GOP-led states to opt out of ERIC, with media speculation that others might soon join. Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, and West Virginia have all dropped out of the coalition.
Former President Donald Trump has been critical of the consortium.
Following the recent decision of Florida, Missouri, and West Virginia to withdraw, Trump encouraged more Republican-led states to take similar action.
“All Republican Governors should immediately pull out of ERIC, the terrible Voter Registration System that ‘pumps the rolls’ for Democrats and does nothing to clean them up. It is a fools game for Republicans,” Trump said in a post on Truth Social.
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