RTI Stage 1 Report

Data Shows Improvements for States Using ERIC

December 12, 2013

The Research Triangle Institute (RTI), in conjunction with Professor Barry Burden from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, released a report that evaluates the performance of the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC). The research, commissioned by The Pew Charitable Trusts, finds that states that participated in ERIC improved performance in 2012 on several key election measurements, compared to non-ERIC states.

The report evaluates the first phase of ERIC’s functionality, which used state voter files and motor vehicle records to identify and contact eligible, but unregistered citizens with clear instructions on the most efficient way to register. The second phase, covering list maintenance duties of updating inaccurate and no longer valid records, will be evaluated in 2014.

ERIC states improved on numerous election measurements in 2012, compared to non-ERIC states:

  • Voter registration rates for new voters increased by 1.14 percentage points, compared with just 0.27 points in non-ERIC states
  • ERIC states saw a 3.39-point decrease in the rate of voters reporting registration problems as their reason for not voting, compared with a 0.57-point decline in non-ERIC states
  • In ERIC states, the number of provisional ballots issued grew by just 0.10-points, while non-ERIC states saw an increase of 0.36-points.
  • The share of provisional ballots rejected, or uncounted, increased nationwide. The increase in ERIC states, 0.10-points, was less severe than the increase in non-ERIC states, 0.36-points.
  • While voter turnout decreased across the country in 2012 compared to 2008, ERIC states saw a more mild decrease of 1.17-points, compared to a 3.53-points decrease in non-ERIC states.