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Secretary Merrill Responds to Josh Moon of Alabama Political Reporter


Tuesday, August 6, 2019 – MONTGOMERY – The following is a statement from Secretary of State John H. Merrill and is in direct response to the recent opinion column written by Josh Moon of Alabama Political Reporter.

An article published Monday written by Josh Moon disputed yet again the fact that photo ID laws stop voter fraud.

Moon asserted that of the 927 complaints filed, not a single complaint was related to in-person voter fraud. Alabama does not have in-person voter fraud because the photo voter ID law exists. In fact, a judge ruled if every state handled their photo ID law like Alabama, then every state’s photo ID law would have been upheld.

Additionally, of the six convictions, five were associated with absentee voting. Recently, the Office of the Secretary of State worked with Senator Rodger Smitherman (D-Birmingham) and Representative Matt Fridy (R-Montevallo) to pass bi-partisan legislation that will prevent future absentee voter fraud.

Alabama Act 2019-507 prevents absentee voter fraud by requiring voters to submit a valid form of photo identification along with their absentee ballot applications. This further ensures that only eligible voters are receiving absentee ballots.

By removing the requirement that Absentee Election Managers publish the list of absentee voters, their addresses, and their polling places in the county courthouse, voter information is being protected from being used for fraudulent activities.

Greater Birmingham Ministries v. Merrill, 284 F. Supp. 3d 1253 held that Secretary Merrill is not required to prove that voter fraud exists (although he has done so), that the photo ID law deters voter fraud, and that the law increases voter confidence in elections.

The Office of the Secretary of State investigates all complaints of voter fraud and will continue to actively monitor them.

John H. Merrill

Alabama Secretary of State