JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – States across the country, including all of Mississippi’s bordering states, have left the commonly used nonprofit, nonpartisan election data system known as ERIC.

However, 29 states, including the District of Columbia, use the Electronic Registration Information Center to maintain accurate voter rolls, detect illegal voting and boost voter registration.

States that are part of ERIC can compare their voter rolls with other states to help prevent voter fraud and reach out to unregistered voters. All of that for the price of a one-time membership fee of $25,000, annual membership dues and more.

“Not only that, but you also had to then pony up for the mail pieces that would go out to the eligible but unregistered,” said Secretary of State Michael Watson (R-Miss.).

With all of Mississippi’s bordering states leaving the database, the incentive to join is low.

“If you don’t have the states that are around you to help catch those voters that are maybe going across state lines, then the commonsense kind of goes out the door to join ERIC,” stated Watson.

Overall, Mississippi is confident in its current practices, future agreements and local election commissioners to run their elections.

“We’ve got a meeting coming up with Alabama. We’ve been in contact with Florida. I’ve talked to Louisiana. The states just themselves are going back and forth to make sure that they’re checking each other’s voter rolls,” said Watson.

“It’s just a matter of crossing your T’s, dotting your I’s. Putting on an election with trained officials who are also like-minded in protecting our voters and their privacy. Mississippi has a great system. I’m always very confident in it,” said Rankin County Election Commissioner Tonya Rivers, District 3.