LOCAL NEWS

GOPers in Weber, Davis counties call on Utah to stop using ERIC system to maintain voter lists

Apr 14, 2024, 2:35 PM

Otto Krauss, sponsor of a resolution calling on Utah to withdraw its membership from the Electronic...

Otto Krauss, sponsor of a resolution calling on Utah to withdraw its membership from the Electronic Registration Information Center, addresses the Weber County Republican Party delegates on the issue Saturday in Ogden. (Tim Vandenack, KSL.com)

(Tim Vandenack, KSL.com)

OGDEN — The Electronic Registration Information Center, a national nonprofit body that helps clean and update voter lists in more than 20 U.S. states, is starting to garner suspicion from Utah Republicans.

GOP delegates in Weber and Davis counties approved resolutions at their respective nominating conventions on Saturday calling on the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office to stop using the system, known as ERIC. The resolution was approved in a 283-202 vote at the Davis County convention in Clearfield and by a majority at the Weber County convention as determined by Jackson Wing, the party chairman, when delegates stood first in favor and then in opposition to the measure.

Otto Kauss, the GOP delegate who sponsored the resolution at the Weber County convention, called ERIC “a politically driven voter registration scheme” in supporting the proposal.

Davis County Republican Party Chairman Yemi Arunsi, meantime, thinks the issue is likely to get continued attention in Utah after Saturday’s votes. “It does look like there’s a lot of steam on this issue. … I imagine this is something that’s going to keep coming up,” he said after Saturday’s action.

Action instead of mandates

The resolutions are calls for action rather than mandates. Copies will be sent to the Republican members of the Utah Legislature, Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, whose office oversees elections in Utah, and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, per provisions of each.

Critics, though, are variously suspicious of the source of funding behind ERIC and think state elections officials should handle the duties the organization manages. The resolution notes that “nine Republican-led states” have left ERIC due to “suspect practices that do little to protect the integrity of voter rolls.”

In an online informational sheet on ERIC, the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office noted that some GOP states have left ERIC. Utah, it reads, “has remained a member and worked for change from within because of the overriding value that we see from this organization.”

Lance Peterson, a Weber County Republican Party delegate, spoke against the ERIC resolution. The resolution contains “misinformation, distortions of fact,” he said, and first should get further review. “Vet this a little bit better so it’s something we can be proud of,” he said.

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GOPers in Weber, Davis counties call on Utah to stop using ERIC system to maintain voter lists