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Secretary Merrill Removes Russell County Registrar from Office


Monday, July 22, 2019 – MONTGOMERY – On Tuesday, July 16, 2019, Secretary Merrill removed a member of the Russell County Board of Registrars for cause. The case went before an objective Administrative Law Judge, who after hearing the case made a formal recommendation to the Secretary of State to remove the registrar.  

According to Alabama Law, the Secretary of State has the authority to remove county registrars for cause. In February of 2019, a formal, written complaint against the registrar was filed for failing to competently and conscientiously advise potentially qualified electors that the law required them to register where they lived or were domiciled.

It is a violation of duty as a registrar to advise voters to register at places where they do not live. Code of Ala., section 17-9-10 clearly states where a person is allowed to register.

Secretary Merrill stated, “We make it easy to vote and hard to cheat in Alabama. A crucial part of maintaining that is by appointing Board of Registrar members that meet the highest standards. By giving due process and by holding voter registrars accountable for their actions, we preserve the public trust and ensure that elections are fair and equitable to everyone.”

To further explain the process of removal, the Office of the Secretary of State strengthens due process by giving the defendant a notice process and hearing. The Secretary of State presents the case to an objective Administrative Law Judge, who then makes a recommendation to the Secretary of State.

The original charges were filed and sent to the registrar on February 11th. The case was heard before the Administrative Law Judge on June 14th. The Administrative Law Judge issued his recommended order on July 16th.

The Russell County Board of Registrars member’s removal from office is effective immediately.