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Sec. of State John Merrill: Let’s acknowledge how far we have come

When discussing voting rights, some individuals and special interest groups focus on the Alabama of 1962, but they never acknowledge the Alabama of 2022 and the great progress we have made in our state. They attempt to use our state’s troubled past as justification for their present political agenda.

These folks are entitled to their own opinion, but they are not entitled to their own facts. Today, Alabama has been called the gold standard for election administration by three separate entities, and our office works each day to ensure that every eligible Alabamian is registered to vote and that every voter can obtain a valid government-issued photo ID.

Although, we are always looking for areas of improvement, it is important to note that improvement is not weakening our election integrity measures. My goal has always been making it easier to vote and harder to cheat. When administering the election process, officials must properly balance voter access and election integrity. We have found that proper balance in Alabama and that assertion is supported by the empirical data.

Since the beginning of my term in 2015, we have registered 2,113,006 new voters, which brings the total number of registered voters to 3,665,924, and we have set records for voter participation for both primary and general elections. At the same time, we have strengthened our election security measures by implementing the 2014 Photo Voter ID law.

In conclusion, let me say that it is important to remember the history of voting rights in our state, but we should also acknowledge the great strides and accomplishments, as well.

John Merrill is Alabama’s 53rd secretary of state

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