Alabama SoS John Merrill: ‘I’ve had instances in 2016 and again this year where we had people that were allowing drive-by voting’
On Friday’s broadcast of Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill compared the structure that governs elections in his state to that of Florida, which had some high-profile difficulties in this year’s general election.
Merrill touted Alabama’s strict conformity to the law on elections and referred to situations that required his intervention to maintain this adherence to the law.
One situation involved so-called “drive-by voting,” also known as “curbside voting,” which according to Merrill was a case of some polling locations allowing people to take ballots out to cars to be filled out on Election Day.
“You have to make sure those people are doing what they’re supposed to do,” Merrill said. “You can’t have people going rogue, which is one of the things we’ve seen in our state. I’ve had instances in 2016 and again this year where we had people that were allowing drive-by voting – curbside voting. If you came up to the polls and you were not able to get out of the car, or you said you were disabled, they were allowing people to take the ballots out.”
Merrill explained how he addressed it and said if this were something that should be allowed, it shouldn’t be done by local election authorities, but statutorily by the Alabama legislature.
“Now when that was introduced to me, I made a call to the probate judge and we stopped it dead-cold right when it was introduced to us,” he added. “I asked them, ‘Under what authority and what jurisdiction do you have to be able to provide that?’ And they said, ‘Well, it’s just a courtesy.’ Well, let me tell you something: If you don’t like the law, change the law. Don’t make the law on the spot. That’s not acceptable.”
According to the recently re-elected Alabama secretary of state, the proper response for the state of Florida regarding these election woes should be handled by the Sunshine State’s legislature, or possibly by investigators through the indictment process.
“What they’re doing in Florida is making the laws up as they go, and it’s a problem,” Merrill stated. “But it’s a problem that needs to be addressed by their legislature. It may need to be addressed by indictments, but it needs to be addressed because those people need to be removed from office that are behaving that way. That’s not acceptable.”