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Opinion | Response to Joey Kennedy

In Alabama, we make it easy to vote and hard to cheat.


As I have previously stated, while Mr. Joey Kennedy may be entitled to his own opinion, he is not entitled to his own facts. In his latest opinion piece, he poses the question, “How are we supposed to have confidence that every eligible voter will get a shot at letting their preferences be heard?” The answer is quite simple. If you examine my record and the accomplishments of our office since January 19, 2015, any reasonable and non-partisan observer would come to the same conclusion. In Alabama, we make it easy to vote and hard to cheat. Here are the facts.

In Alabama, we currently have 3,614,724 total registered voters. Since January 19, 2015, we have registered 1,954,236 voters, and many have used the online portal,, while the remainder used the traditional paper methods. Also, our state has set records for voter participation in every major election since 2016. In the 2020 General Election, there was a record 2,329,114 Alabamians who cast their ballots for the candidates of their choice, which resulted in a turnout rate of 62.8 percent.

If anyone, including Mr. Kennedy, can produce a single Alabamian who cannot obtain a free Photo Voter ID or register to vote through the variety of methods currently available, then we will drive to that individual’s home to ensure they have equal access to the voting booth. In the past, we have made more than 25 home visits to provide free photo voter IDs, and we will continue these efforts in the future because we want to make sure every eligible Alabamian can cast their ballot for the candidate of their choice.  

This year, Alabama was recognized by several national organizations as the gold standard for election administration due to our work during the 2020 election cycle. Since January 2015, we have set records for both voter registration and voter participation and served as a model for election integrity throughout the nation.

Mr. Kennedy ended his piece by asking, “Are you optimistic? What about?” To answer that question, yes, we are extremely optimistic. Why? Because we have a consistent and proven track record of successful election administration that can and will be replicated in the future.

John Merrill is Alabama's secretary of state.

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