By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Thursday, Secretary of State John Merrill responded to news that the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, the ACLU Voting Rights Project, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the Campaign Legal Center had filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the appeal of a federal lawsuit challenging Alabama’s voter ID law.
Merrill told the Alabama Political Reporter that the Judge said that if every state was doing what Alabama was doing then all of the voter ID laws would stand. Everybody who wants a voter ID has one and if they can’t go to the Board of Registrars office or to one of our festivals we will come to their house to make them a voter ID.
“They say that there is 188.000 people without ID to vote, that is a lie,” Merrill told APR. “There aren’t a hundred thousand, there aren’t ten thousand, there aren’t ten. It is zero. If they can give us the name of one we will go to their house and make them a photo ID, we have done it before.”
APR asked Merrill if African-American voter participation has dropped since the photo ID law went into effect.
“Apparently not,” Merrill said. “Every election analyst says that Doug Jones won the U.S. Senate election because of Black voter turnout.”
APR asked Merrill if there is any reason to believe that Black voter participation will increase if the photo ID requirement is repealed?
“No there is not,” Merrill said.
APR asked if the Secretary of State’s Office planned to defend the decision which is being appealed.
Merrill said that yes and they plan to defend the voter ID law from a position of strength.
In 2015, Greater Birmingham Ministries, Alabama NAACP, and individual plaintiffs sued the state, claiming that the voter ID law is unconstitutional because it intentionally discriminates against voters of color in Alabama. In January, a federal judge allowed the law to remain in effect.
The plaintiffs have since appealed the decision.
Most people have a valid photo ID, often a valid driver’s license that, under Alabama law, must present at the polling place in to vote. The state will also accept:
- State-issued ID (any state)
- Federal issued ID
- US passport
- Employee ID from Federal Government, state of Alabama, County, Municipality, Board, or other entity of this state
- Student or employee ID from a public or private college or university in the state of Alabama
- Military ID
- Tribal ID
If you don’t have a valid photo ID, the state will make one for you.