Merrill: Doug Jones ‘promoting fake news’ with continued voter suppression claims
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill has now rebutted the latest in a long line of unsubstantiated claims by Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) regarding voter suppression, adding that Jones never would have been elected to office if his assertions were true.
Jones has made headlines over the last month as he tried to sell copies of his new book, with his most brazen claim being that Republicans “do not want African-Americans and other minorities to vote.”
He quickly doubled down on that initial eyebrow-raising statement and just last week asserted, “In the last few years we’ve seen a whole segment of our population that have had their voting rights restricted. It’s harder to get to the polls, it’s harder to vote, it’s harder to register.”
In a statement to Yellowhammer News on Monday, Merrill again outlined that the facts simply do not support what Jones continues to claim.
Merrill said, “Senator Doug Jones, members of the media, and the hundreds of other educated political elite are entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts!”
He shared the historic statistics on voter registration and participation during his tenure as secretary of state and concluded, “We cannot sustain a system in which we give the ability to determine truth to one political party or the other… Instead of creating a distraction by promoting Fake News, let’s work together to help Alabama be all it can be!”
Merrill’s statement as follows:
When the duly elected United States Senator from the Alabama, Senator Doug Jones, articulated that there is an organized and well-orchestrated conspiracy to prevent people of color from participating in the electoral process, I was frustrated and disappointed.
As nearly every Alabamian knows there has been a paradigmatic change in the electoral system as administered by the Secretary of State’s Office under our administration.
Senator Doug Jones, members of the media, and the hundreds of other educated political elite are entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts!
What are the facts?
Since January 19, 2015, we have registered more than 1,229,399 new voters bringing the state’s total registered voters in the state to 3,470,811. As a result of our efforts to register voters and our public awareness campaigns Alabamians have turned out to vote in record numbers in the Presidential Preference Primary in March of 2016 (1.25 million), the November 2016 General Election (2.1 million), the December 2017 U.S. Senate Special Election (1.3 million), and the November 2018 General Election (1.7 million).
Further, Senator Jones, was elected because we have worked tirelessly to ensure the elections process in Alabama makes it easy for Alabamians to cast their vote but hard to cheat.
We cannot sustain a system in which we give the ability to determine truth to one political party or the other. We must recognize that hard work, and to build systems that directly support the goals and objectives of the people we serve, all the people of Alabama. In Alabama, we have broken every record in the history of the state for voter registration and voter participation! Instead of creating a distraction by promoting Fake News, let’s work together to help Alabama be all it can be!
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn