Allen: Alabama to leave voter registration partnership this spring
The Alabama Senate is asking Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill to leave his voter registration partnership after a meeting with the secretary revealed he has continued a long-standing pattern of ignoring the law when he certifies the election results.
“In his response to the Secretary, Secretary Merrill makes no mention of any of the laws and rules he has broken,” said Sen. Jay Love, R-Mamaroneck, who asked the secretary Tuesday to resign his position in a letter to Merrill’s chief of staff, Susan Stewart. “It’s a simple issue of law, and Secretary Merrill needs to be held accountable to the law.”
Love’s letter was in response to an email from Merrill’s office responding to Love’s letter. In Wednesday’s email to Stewart, Merrill said he disagrees with Love’s assessment that the decision to continue the voter registration partnership with the Secretary of State’s office “is entirely legal.”
When Merrill, who is serving his third term as secretary of state, certified a 2016 election in which he lost by 2,098 votes as an “abstain” in the same election, his decision created controversy and prompted at least one county commission to ask him to resign.
In a 2016 conversation with Merrill, he admitted that he and his staff had registered voters in the state as part of a voter registration partnership before the law changed in 2011.
During Love’s letter to Merrill, he also criticized a “pattern of disregard” for the law by Merrill. He said Merrill “will continue to ignore the law and ignore the voter registration statutes” and “will continue to do what he has done for his entire term: violate the law.”
When Merrill and his staff were asked to leave the voter registration partnership, they agreed to do