Following several leading Republican election officials’ decision to withdraw their states from a widely used voter-roll management group with ties to left-wing activists, the notoriously Democrat-friendly Politico is attempting to cast the move as a bid to “upend” the “backbone of American elections.”
On Friday, Ohio and Iowa became the latest states to announce their departure from the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), an organization with connections to Democrat activist David Becker that was “sold to states as a quick and easy way to update their voter rolls.” In actuality, ERIC inflates voter rolls by requiring member states to contact eligible but unregistered residents to register to vote.
In a letter published shortly after ERIC’s Friday meeting, Ohio Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose blasted the group for “repeatedly” ignoring demands from participating states “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 was discussing reforms proposed in a separate letter sent to ERIC Executive Director Shane Hamlin on March 6, in which he requested removing” ‘ex-officio membership positions’ from ERIC’s bylaws so as to cut left-wing activist David Becker from its board, as well as no longer requiring states to send out voter registration mailers to unregistered residents.”
In addition to Ohio and Iowa, West Virginia, Florida, and Missouri announced their exit from ERIC earlier this month. Alabama and Louisiana withdrew separately last year.
Rather than provide readers with background information regarding these states’ concerns, Politico state politics reporter Zach Montellaro published an article casually glossing over these issues while accusing departing states of using “conspiratorial-minded reasons” for leaving ERIC. Montellaro characterizes one of these Republican concerns as “a secretive plot by liberals to take control of voter rolls” and repeats ERIC’s accusations against concerned GOP election officials as if they were a matter of fact.
He writes, “Other complaints [from departing states] are more about the structure of the organization … which defenders of the organization say is being used as a false pretense to leave.”
While Montellaro mentions Republican officials’ concerns about Becker’s partisanship, such as his soon-ending role as a non-voting ERIC board member, his reporting doesn’t explore why Becker’s connection to ERIC is troubling. In addition to founding ERIC, Becker is also the founder of the Center Election Innovation and Research (CEIR) — a fact Montellaro, to his credit, mentions. What the Politico report does not include, however, are crucial details about CEIR’s interference in the 2020 election.
In the lead-up to the 2020 contest, CEIR, along with the Center for Tech and Civic Life, received hundreds of millions of dollars from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. These grants were poured into local election offices throughout the country to push sloppy Democrat-backed voting policies, such as mass mail-in voting and the widespread use of ballot drop boxes. Analyses have shown these “Zuckbucks” were heavily skewed toward Democrat municipalities, especially in swing states, effectively making it a giant Democrat “get out the vote” operation.
CEIR’s widely partisan activism isn’t exclusive to the 2020 contest, either. As The Federalist previously reported, CEIR enjoys an active relationship with ERIC, which transmits the voter-roll data it receives from states to CEIR. Upon receiving the data, CEIR “then develops targeted mailing lists and sends them back to the states to use for voter registration outreach.” In other words, CEIR — a highly partisan nonprofit with a history of left-wing activism — is creating lists of potential (and likely Democrat) voters for states to register in the lead-up to major elections.
These seem like important details worth mentioning, no?
Including such pertinent information is vital to providing citizens the truth — which is exactly why it wasn’t incorporated in the Politico article. Like much of legacy media, Politico isn’t interested in providing its readers the unvarnished facts about critically important issues. Rather, these leftist “news” outlets exist to advance the Democrat Party and its allies while masquerading as nonpartisan media outlets.
Shawn Fleetwood is a Staff Writer for The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He also serves as a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous outlets, including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth, and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood
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