Hawaii Governor Josh Green signs bill requiring application to ERIC

On July 5, 2024, Hawaii Governor Josh Green (D) signed Senate Bill 2240, requiring the state’s Office of Elections to apply to join the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC). The bill passed the Hawaii House of Representatives and State Senate unanimously on April 24. 

As of July 2024, 24 states and the District of Columbia were members of ERIC, a multi-state voter list maintenance compact founded by the chief election officials from Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, Utah, Virginia, and Washington in 2012. At its height in 2022, 33 states and D.C. were members. 

Beginning in 2022, nine states withdrew from ERIC. Election officials in these states named concerns about the protection of personal data, partisanship, and strategic disagreements as contributing factors to their respective resignations. In all nine states, the resignation was made by a Republican election official or as required by legislation passed in a Republican-controlled legislature. To read more about these resignations, see here

Senate Bill 2240 would require Hawaii to apply to join ERIC by June 30, 2025. Hawaii would become the first state to join ERIC since the series of resignations, barring action by another state before the deadline to apply imposed by the bill,or a rejection of Hawaii’s application by ERIC. 

Similar bills have passed one chamber of the legislature in California and New York, while another bill was vetoed by Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) earlier this year. 

States that join ERIC agree to share their voter registration and motor vehicle department identification data every 60 days. ERIC uses data matching tools to release a series of list maintenance reports, including a Cross-State Movers Report and a Duplicate Report. States are required to request at least one report a year, but the ERIC website says: “the ERICMembership Agreement strongly encourages members to establish a regular schedule for requesting these reports.” 

States are required to contact voters when they receive a report “indicating that information in an existing voter’s record is deemed to be inaccurate or out-of-date.” States have 90 days to initiate contact with at least 95% of such voters after receiving a report. 

ERIC also releases the Eligible but Unregistered Report that identifies eligible but unregistered voters in each member state. Once every two years, member states must mail information about voter registration to these voters in their state by October 1 or 15 days before the state’s registration deadline, whichever is earlier. States are permitted to filter the list and remove individuals that they believe are not eligible.

For more about arguments supporting and opposing states’ membership in ERIC, see here

Keep reading: Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC)