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Secretary of State Celebrates Major Victory in Photo ID Lawsuit


Wednesday, July 21, 2020 – MONTGOMERY – Today, Secretary of State John H. Merrill celebrates a major victory following the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal’s ruling, which affirmed that the state’s photo ID law is constitutional and necessary.

“Today’s ruling by the Eleventh Circuit, affirming that the state’s photo ID law is constitutional, is a major victory for the security and integrity of elections in Alabama!” exclaimed Secretary of State John H. Merrill. “Photo ID is required when purchasing alcohol or tobacco products, operating a motor vehicle, checking into a flight, purchasing a gun, or booking a hotel. Voting is equally or more important than all of these other examples where a photo ID is required. I am grateful to the Northern District Court of Alabama and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals who have confirmed what we already knew: ‘it is so easy to get a photo ID in Alabama, no one is prevented from voting.’”

The Eleventh Circuit, who affirmed the decision of the Northern District Court of Alabama, declared: “The Alabama voter ID law does not violate the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments of the Constitution, nor does it violate the Voting Rights Act.”

The 97 page ruling, which can be read here, came as a result of a lawsuit filed by the Greater Birmingham Ministries and the Alabama State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

“Through our annual visits to all 67 counties to register voters and issue free photo voter ID’s, multimedia campaigns to educate voters, and collaboration with local community leaders, notable Alabamians, and more, we have worked to see that every eligible resident of our state, who is interested, is registered to vote and has a photo ID. Our success has allowed us to shatter every record in the history of state for voter registration and voter participation,” continued Merrill.

Noting the various forms of valid photo ID accepted by the State of Alabama to vote and how “simple” and “free” it is to acquire a photo ID, it is apparent from today’s ruling that the state’s photo ID law is fair and non-burdensome to voters.

“Photo ID significantly reduces the potential for voter fraud to be committed, and we will remain dedicated to providing free, fair, and secure elections,” stated Merrill.