Carol Beecher, the newly appointed Division of Elections director, is already challenging systems put in place by our previous director, Gail Fenumiai. Beecher is questioning the need for the Electronic Registration Information Cente, a member-funded nonprofit business organization that assists states in improving the accuracy of their voter rolls and increasing access to voter registration for all eligible citizens.
ERIC works across state lines helping keep voting rosters current and accurate. There have been no problems with our contract with ERIC. So, why the change? Beecher cites the cost is high compared to Alaska’s small population. But Alaska has already paid the one-time membership fee and now only pays annual dues based on the citizen voting age population in each state. These dues are approved by the member states.
We have an attractive Permanent Fund that people are loath to give up, as well as no state income tax. ERIC will help rid our voting roster of people that reside elsewhere but continue to use Alaska as their resident state. Beecher has even admitted the benefits of ERIC.
Republican Sen. Mike Showers is worried about security and seems to be spreading misinformation about ERIC. I suggest they both visit the ERIC website and get educated on who ERIC is and exactly what they do: https://ericstates.org/
Yes, using ERIC promotes voter registration, but isn’t that an American “right and responsibility,” and to be encouraged?
What’s your beef, Beecher? Really?
— Janie Taylor
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