HARRISBURG – During Monday’s Senate Appropriations budget hearing with the Department of State, Sen. Cris Dush (R-25) closed out his extensive questioning by engaging Acting Secretary of State Al Schmidt regarding the cost of Pennsylvania leaving the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).
“Pennsylvania needs to leave ERIC for the same reasons as a total of seven states have left this non-existent, GHOST entity over the past 14 months,” said Dush, who also serves as Chairman of the Senate State Government Committee. “In the upcoming months the State Government Committee will be taking the lead on this issue and charting a path for Pennsylvania to leave ERIC and provide a reasonable, non-partisan substitute for ERIC data.”
In February, Alabama Secretary of State Wes Allen made an unannounced visit to the published address of ERIC’s headquarters and found “no ERIC presence of any kind,” (www.sos.alabama.gov/newsroom/wes-allen-finds-vacant-virtual-office-eric-address).
“How can you have any type of information center, with no physical presence,” asked Dush? “ERIC’s Washington, DC address is actually operated by Expansive, a company that offers virtual workplaces across the county and rents office space by the day.”
As his first official act in office, Allen withdrew Alabama from ERIC. This month five more states (Iowa, Missouri, West Virginia, Ohio and Florida) have joined Alabama in leaving ERIC and openly declaring that:
- ERIC does not safeguard residents’ personal information.
- ERIC acts as a partisan organization.
- States lose their sovereign control of elections when joining ERIC.
In addition to ERIC, Dush also questioned Schmidt on the Department of State’s true fiscal position; election security grants available to counties; availability of mailing address labels for Eligible But Unregistered (EBU) individuals contacted by the department; and the purpose of auditing the Statewide Uniform Registry of Elections (SURE) system.
The Senate’s livestreams of state budget hearings, daily recaps and video from prior hearings are available at PASenateGOP.com.
The Senate State Government Committee has broad oversight over the executive branch, including the Office of the Governor, the Departments of State and General Services, as well as the Civil Service, Historical and Museum, and State Ethics Commissions. The committee is also responsible for developing and approving legislation relating to campaigns and elections, ethics and transparency in state government, constitutional amendments, and state procurement and land sales.
Later this spring, Chairman Dush will preside over Schmidt’s official confirmation hearing.
CONTACT: Ty McCauslin, Communications Director at email@example.com.