Some of the nation’s preeminent election deniers have launched EagleAI NETwork, a new project that could undermine voting rights and elections. Its key supporters include Georgia serial voter registration challenger Jason Frazier and former President Trump lawyer Cleta B. Deatherage Mitchell — best known for her participation in Trump’s phone call asking Georgia’s secretary of state to “find” him 11,780 votes. If EagleAI replaces existing election systems, it may be used to smear impartial election administration, disenfranchise voters, and set the stage for overturning unfavorable election results. It’s another link in the anti-democracy chain that those unhappy with election outcomes are building.
Election officials across the country update their voter rolls and remove ineligible voters as a routine part of their jobs — in fact, they’re required to do so by federal law. Most states also allow private citizens to challenge registrants on or before Election Day. Ideally, these challenges should only be filed by those with personal knowledge of a change in a voter’s eligibility, such as the neighbor of a registered voter who has since moved. Challenges by private citizens add almost no value over the proven technology used by election administrators. Mostly they just disrupt election administration and potentially disenfranchise voters.
Don’t let the “AI” in the name fool you. There’s nothing intelligent about EagleAI, which appears to be no more than a system that performs data matches based on a database of public voter data amassed by a web scraper. Its own proponents describe it as “Excel on steroids.”
While officials abandoned their best tool to maintain accurate rolls, EagleAI’s founders were working behind the scenes to pitch it as a replacement for ERIC. Many officials have rejected EagleAI’s approaches. But some county officials in states including Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Texas are reportedly discussing contracting with it. The problem is imminent enough that at least one state official, former Georgia State Board of Elections Chair William Duffey, sent a letter to one county board discouraging it from using EagleAI and noting it may violate privacy laws.
EagleAI is not only an unacceptable substitute for ERIC — it appears to be an effort to empower election-denying ideologues by replacing a reliable list maintenance system with a patchwork of sloppy mass challenges.