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Merrill: William Boyd ‘needs to get his facts straight’ on voting rights in Alabama

William Boyd, the Democratic nominee for Senate in Alabama, has been claiming that there had been voter suppression against minorities in the Yellowhammer State.

Tuesday, Boyd posted on Twitter about what he called “the discrepancy between the # of eligible Black voters reported by AL & the same # reported by the U.S. Census Bureau.”

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill recently countered Boyd’s arguments on WVNN’s “The Yaffee Program,” saying the candidate “needs to get his facts straight.”

“The problem with Boyd’s numbers,” Merrill argued, “is that they’re looking at all people in the state that have been identified as African-American, and then they’re looking at that number and seeing what the number of registered voters happens to be and dividing that out and that’s how they come up with 67%, but the real problem there is they’re not taking into account the people that are between the ages of zero or 18 are not eligible to vote — they’re not eligible. You’ve got to be at least 18, you’ve got to be a citizen of the United States, and you have to be in good standing — that is you have not been convicted of a disqualifying felony. And so, he’s not taking those people into account.”

He also detailed other facts that showed it was not difficult to vote in Alabama.

“There is no polling place in this state — and we have 1,980 of them — there’s no polling place in this state that anybody that lives in that county has to drive more than 20 minutes to get to their polling site, not one,” Merrill explained. “Those polling sites are determined by local county commissions in association with the probate judge, circuit clerk, and the sheriff, so those are all approved at the local level.”

Merrill suggested Boyd was just trying to find a way to get attention for his campaign because he had a small chance of beating the Republican nominee in November.

“I think Will Boyd is probably a good person,” he said. “I think he’s trying to run a campaign that he thinks will be one that would that bring some attention to him so he’d be considered by the people of this state as a viable candidate, which he’s not today, for the U.S. Senate seat against Katie Britt, who overwhelmingly won the Republican nomination… and I think he’s trying to do whatever he can to draw attention to himself and to his campaign in order to have people pay attention to his message and try to advance that.”

Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” Weekdays 9-11am on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee

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