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Alabama Secretary of State Calls on Senate Rules Committee to Reject S. 1


Tuesday, March 23, 2021 – MONTGOMERY – The following statement from Alabama Secretary of State John H. Merrill comes before tomorrow’s Senate hearing on S. 1:

“Tomorrow morning, the United States Senate Rules Committee will hold a hearing on S. 1, the Senate version of H.R. 1, commonly referred to as the ‘For the People Act.’

“Currently, at least 32 states allow military and overseas voters to receive and return their absentee ballots electronically, allowing for the timely receipt and delivery of ballots. S. 1 would prohibit our military personnel from voting electronically transmitted ballots, severely restricting their access to the ballot box.  

“Prior to the passage of the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act, which required the timely transmission of ballots to military voters, the ability for military voters to successfully participate in elections was extremely limited. According to data collected by the Federal Voting Assistance Program, of the one million absentee ballots sent to military and overseas voters in 2006, only one-third of the ballots were actually cast or counted. The number of military voters unable to successfully cast ballots was decreased from 30 percent in 2004 to 17 percent today.

“This success, we know, would not be possible without the opportunity for voters to deliver and return ballots electronically.

“S. 1 denies the men and women who defend our country the ability to exercise their right to vote, which is why I am calling on the United States Senate Committee on Rules and Administration to reject efforts to advance this dangerous piece of legislation.

“Furthermore, S. 1 removes the requirement for voters to provide photo identification, making our elections much more susceptible to fraud. In Alabama, photo ID has proven to be an effective deterrent for voter fraud. Following the enactment of a 2019 law requiring photo ID to be submitted along with an absentee ballot application, Alabama has not identified a single case of alleged voter fraud related to absentee voting. S. 1 would reverse the years of progress that has been made in our state to protect elections.

“In addition, by imposing liberal California-style voting methods on every state such as mail-in voting and ballot harvesting, this legislation completely undermines the security mechanisms that have been put into place by state legislatures across the country.

“Rather than strip states of their constitutional authority to administer elections, Congress should be working to protect the freedoms granted to states. Unfortunately, however, this is not the case today.

“S. 1 is an egregious overreach by the federal government into the administration of elections. I urge Members of Congress and the Senate Rules Committee to immediately dismiss efforts to move this legislation.”