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Merrill provides update on record voter registration numbers: ‘Easy to vote and hard to cheat’

Secretary of State John Merrill on Thursday announced the Yellowhammer State now has more than 3.5 million registered voters, as Alabama continues to shatter state voter registration records.

In a statement, Merrill outlined, “Since January 19, 2015, we’ve registered 1,301,012 new voters! We now have a state record 3,500,894 registered voters in Alabama! Those numbers are unprecedented and unparalleled in the history of the state and per capita no state in the Union has done as much as we’ve done in that same period, and I’m very, very proud of that.”

This also factors in almost 800,000 people who have been taken off of the voting rolls during Merrill’s tenure because of some form of ineligibility.

“It should be noted that the 201 Registrars in our state have removed more than 790,000 people from the voter rolls because those people have moved away, they’ve passed away, or they’ve been put away for disqualifying felonies, and whenever that happens, they need to come off the voter rolls,” Merrill said.

Merrill’s office advised that 96% of all eligible black people in Alabama are registered to vote, 91% of all eligible white Alabamians are registered to vote and 94% of all eligible Alabamians are registered to vote in total.

“For four years, six months, and six days, we have made a concerted effort to ensure that each and every eligible U.S. citizen that is a resident of Alabama is registered to vote and has a valid photo ID,” he commented.

Alabama’s photo voter ID law, passed in 2011, is the only one in the nation that has remained intact as it was written after a lawsuit.

No instance has ever been recorded in Alabama in which someone has been denied the right to vote for not having the proper credentials under this law, the secretary of state’s office explained.

Additionally, Merrill’s office noted that Alabama has broken every record in the history of the state for voter participation in the last four major elections.

These elections as follows:

On March 1, 2016, more than 1.25 million Alabamians voted, breaking every record in the history of the state for participation in a Presidential Primary.

On November 8, 2016, more than 2.1 million Alabamians voted, breaking every record in the history of the state for participation in a Presidential General Election.

On December 12, 2017, more than 1.3 million Alabamians voted and participated in the special U.S. Senate election, and on November 6, 2018, more than 1.7 million Alabamians voted, again breaking every record in the history of the state for a midterm general election.

“Voter registration is important, but voter participation is better,” Merrill concluded. “Fortunately for our state, there’s both. I am proud to ensure that in Alabama, we make it easy to vote and hard to cheat!”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn