Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill has dedicated his life to public service, from his youth as an Eagle Scout and SGA President at The University of Alabama to his professional career in the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce and Tuscaloosa County public schools. A native of Heflin, Ala., he was first elected to public office as a representative of Alabama House District 62 in 2010 with 87 percent of the vote. He was elected as Secretary of State in 2014 with 65 percent of the vote, and he has dramatically enhanced the efficiency of the office through a series of reforms and innovations. Since he took office, Alabama has more than one million newly-registered voters, setting new state records for voter registration and participation in elections. He has traveled internationally representing the state and is frequently requested to appear on local and national media networks. He serves as a church deacon and either leads or is a member of more than 30 civic, community and professional organizations. He and his wife Cindy, a native of Phil Campbell, Ala., and former public school educator, have two adult children and reside in Tuscaloosa.