Our recent special election was tumultuous and highly partisan. Thankfully, Secretary of State John Merrill who was in charge the whole thing, handled it the with care, maintaining the integrity of the electoral process.
Merrill, a Republican who endorsed Roy Moore, kept his own politics out of it and did an excellent job of reminding people of their right to vote, encouraging them to register and to get involved. He also did well to inform the public of what his office was doing during the campaign, whether clarifying inaccurate campaign ads or alleged voter fraud.
Perhaps most importantly, Merrill demonstrated a real respect for the electoral process.
“We applaud this young man’s energy, excitement, and enthusiasm for the electoral process and we are always encouraged when we observe Alabamians who are actively engaged in campaigns and elections in our state,” Merrill said in a news release today, responding to an accusation of voter fraud against a Jones supporter.
He determined that the individual in question voted legally. Though Merrill’s politics are different, he showed appreciation for the man for involving himself in determining the state’s future.
Perhaps Merrill was just “doing his job” and doesn’t deserve praise but in Alabama, a state-wide elected official just doing his job is what some consider a luxury.
It’s important to remember that public officials can be politically active and still fulfill their duties in a non-partisan way.
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