Merrill: ‘Democrats are spreading lies and inflaming racial tensions at a time when our country most needs unity’
Alabama Secretary of State John H. Merrill is pushing back against claims by Democrats that working to prevent voter fraud is “suppressing black voices and votes.”
A video ad released this week by the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State asserted that Republican-backed balloting laws, including voter ID requirements, are “rooted in white supremacy.”
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, chairman of the national Democratic group, told The Washington Post, “Modern-day voter suppression policies may no longer include poll taxes and literacy tests, but the disproportionate adverse impact of voter-ID laws, purging of voter rolls and felony disenfranchisement on communities of color is no coincidence.”
A Wednesday release from the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) sought to rebut the “false – and frankly, disturbing – narrative” that GOP election officials upholding laws that safeguard the integrity of American elections is an act of racism or voter suppression.
Merrill is chair of the Republican Secretaries of State Committee (RSSC), a caucus of the RSLC. The release pointed to Merrill’s efforts in Alabama as a prime example of Republican secretaries of state across the nation helping to break records in voter registration and voter participation, as well as ensuring that every legal vote is counted.
Last week, Merrill’s office announced the State of Alabama has topped 3.6 million registered voters, once again establishing a new record. In visiting all 67 counties annually to register voters and issue free photo IDs, his office has made a concerted effort to promote voter registration and voter participation.
Under Merrill’s leadership, Alabama has now registered 1,536,778 new voters since January 19, 2015, and the state record has risen to 3,602,951 registered voters in total, per information released Wednesday. While having the toughest voter ID law in the nation, which has already withstood significant judicial scrutiny in multiple lawsuits, Merrill’s office has also broken every record for voter participation in the past five Yellowhammer State elections.
“These numbers are unprecedented and unparalleled in the history for any state in the republic during the same period of time, and I am proud of our work to promote participation in the democratic process,” stated Merrill last week.
“Voting is easier than ever before in the state of Alabama, and the numbers alone prove that,” Merrill added in a Wednesday statement. “While Democrats are spreading lies and inflaming racial tensions at a time when our country most needs unity, Republicans are leading by example and giving citizens a voice and an opportunity to exercise their right to vote.”
The RSLC also pointed to Kentucky as another example of Republican leadership overseeing voting milestones. With Secretary of State Michael Adams (R-KY) in office, the state in January broke its record for total number of registered voters.
RSLC president Austin Chambers stated, “If Democrats want to get to the bottom of voter suppression, they ought to take a long look in the mirror because it’s in the states and communities where they are responsible for administering elections that voters are forced to endure the long lines and confusing, ever-changing rules. The hypocrisy on the left is truly astonishing – and the liberal media’s willingness to obscure the facts is equally as pitiful. Republicans are getting the job done, ensuring that Americans can practice their right to vote with full confidence that the integrity of their elections is never compromised. Democrats may want to sow doubt in our elections – but we sure as hell won’t.”
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn