Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill
legislature.state.al.us

 

Alabama Secretary of State John H. Merrill will not run for office next year after saying he made poor choices that have impacted his family.

He told the Associated Press that his choices were not in the best interest of his family. In an interview with AL.com, he said that he had an inappropriate relationship with a woman outside his marriage.

Merrill served in the Alabama House of Representatives before being elected as secretary of state in 2014. 

Democrats prepare for runoff election

Dec 14, 2020
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Voters are heading back to the polls tomorrow in Montgomery. There's a runoff election to see who will represent the Democratic party for the District 26 senate seat race. The runoff is between sitting House member Kirk Hatcher and former representative John Knight.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said the runoff and general election will be well timed for the winner to take their place on the senate. 

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s election’s chief says a group’s offer to pay churches $6 for every person they help to vote early this year does not violate any law. 

The “New South Souls to the Polls Initiative” is offering to pay churches a $6 contribution for each documented early vote.

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An atheist advocacy group has filed a lawsuit against Alabama’s secretary of state, claiming that a mandatory religious oath on voter registration forms is unconstitutional. 

A Wednesday news release from The Freedom From Religion Foundation said Alabama is the only state that requires voters to swear “so help me God” when signing the registration form.

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Coronavirus numbers continue to rise in Alabama. The pandemic has led to changes and new safety measures across the state as Alabamians work to keep exposure low. Now, two separate lawsuits are seeking to ease the state’s rules on absentee and in-person voting during the deadly pandemic. Some precautions are already being taken, but advocacy groups say the restrictions force voters to choose between their health and their democratic right to vote.

Seth Levi is a chief strategy officer for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Khara Persad / News 21

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A lawsuit is seeking to ease Alabama’s restrictions on absentee ballots and in-person voting during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The League of Women Voters of Alabama and eight voters over age 60 filed the lawsuit against Secretary of State John Merrill and others. It asks that public officials use their emergency powers to ease restrictions during the pandemic.

A federal judge will decide if Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill can block people on his personal Twitter account or if doing so violates their free speech rights.

Merrill and the plaintiffs in the 2018 lawsuit filed motions last month supporting their respective claims. The lawsuit filed by three blocked Twitter users contends that Merrill is putting a "viewpoint-based restriction" to information about, and interaction with, his public office.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is exploring the possibility of a run for his old Senate seat in Alabama, according to three Republicans with knowledge of the situation.

They say Sessions has made telephone calls discussing a potential bid to return to the Senate. The Republicans spoke on condition of anonymity so they could speak more freely about closely held conversations.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A woman previously charged with voter fraud has been appointed to a county elections board by Alabama Gov. Key Ivey.

News outlets report Ivey appointed 79-year-old Rosie Lyles to the Hale County Board of Registrars on Friday. Lyles was charged with four counts of voter fraud in 2007 and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor of possession of a forged instrument.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Two new books have been published to coincide with Alabama's bicentennial celebration.

The Montgomery-based NewSouth Books has joined with Alabama Heritage magazine to produce "Alabama from Territory to Statehood." The book covers the state's early period, before its admission into the United States on Dec. 14, 1819.

Secretary of State John Merrill co-authored another book called "Alabama: The Bicentennial" that's being sold by the Alabama Department of Archives and History. That book recognizes the contributions of more than 400 notable Alabamians.

FORT PAYNE, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Secretary of State and Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Merrill says the country is losing its moral core because of its preoccupation with "homosexual activities" and wife swap TV shows.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill
legislature.state.al.us

(MONTGOMERY, AL)-- The race against Doug Jones for U.S. senate just got a little more crowded.

Alabama's Secretary of State John Merrill announces his bid for the Republican nomination at the state capitol.

He joins U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne, former Alabama Chief Justice Roy moore and thee other candidates vying for the Republican nomination.

Merrill addressed questions regarding issues like immigration and infrastructure during the press conference.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill says he has questions he wants answered before turning over Alabama voter data to President Donald Trump's commission investigating alleged voter fraud.

 Merrill said Friday that there are a "number of questions we have to get answered."  He said security is one issue, but declined to name the other concerns.

Some Alabama Voters Heading to Polls Today

Mar 7, 2017

Voters in Tuscaloosa as well as a House district in the Birmingham area are heading to the polls today to decide the future of their community representation.

District 58 needs a new representative in the Alabama House after Oliver Robinson retired last fall. Today the district is holding its primary election. If there is no need for a run-off, the general election will be held May 23.

State Auditor Questions Legality of Senate Vote

Feb 16, 2017

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley's plans for an election to replace Alabama U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions are drawing widespread criticism.

Bentley wants to schedule the election for November 2018. Jeff Sessions vacated the seat when he was appointed as US Attorney General. State election law says if the vacancy occurs within sixty days, four months, or a longer amount of time from the regular election, the vote must be held "forthwith". The 2018 regular election is twenty-one months away.

A lawyer for Governor Robert Bentley is denying that his campaign fund violated the law by paying legal fees for a former aide with whom Bentley was accused of having an affair.  

Bentley attorney William Athanas says the roughly $9,000 payment for legal fees of Rebekah Mason was consistent with state law. He says that's because it involved work she performed as Bentley's senior political adviser.

Ballot Error Costs Alabama Over $450K

Dec 3, 2016

Alabama's secretary of state says an error that forced nearly three million ballots to be reprinted cost the state over $450,000.

Secretary of State John Merrill announced the final cost for the reprint yesterday. He says the exact cost was $459,690.80.

Merrill says an employee made a transcription error in a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at protecting funding for Alabama's state park system.

Alabama could see record number of voters on election day

Oct 25, 2016

Alabama could see record number of voters at the polls on Election Day.

Secretary of State John Merrill says he anticipates between 2.2 million and 2.4 million state voters to cast ballots in the upcoming election. He says either number would be a record turnout.

Merrill believes high voter enthusiasm will drive turnout in the race that pits Republican Donald Trump against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Alabama voters won’t be casting ballots on a state lottery this November. But, there will be a proposed constitutional amendment to keep an estimated six hundred local laws from being declared null and void. A lawsuit is challenging House procedures which could make lawmakers' “yes” votes to allow voters to decide on a list of local ballot measures unconstitutional. If the legal challenge is successful, these local laws might be ruled invalid even if voters approved them. Senator Cam Ward says the measures possibly at risk include one in Florence allowing Sunday alcohol sales.

Alabama State House
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A lottery bill is heading to a critical vote in the Alabama House of Representatives.

Today’s vote could determine whether a proposed state lottery goes before Alabama voters later this year or if the bill dies in the special session.

House members will debate Gov. Robert Bentley's proposed state lottery. Bentley is seeking the first statewide referendum on the establishment of a lottery since voters rejected the idea in 1999.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill says he believes a November lottery referendum is no longer possible, but is seeking an opinion from the attorney general's office.

Merrill believes the law is clear that today is the deadline for Alabama Lawmakers to approve a constitutional amendment and addit on the November ballot.  They missed that deadline.

The state of Alabama is resting its case in the impeachment trial of Sumter County Sheriff Tyrone Clark.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports yesterday’s testimony revolved around the relationship between Clark and one particular Sumter County inmate. A deputy reportedly testified the inmate had the passcode to the jail’s surveillance system and was frequently allowed to drive Clark’s truck without supervision.

A state judge is refusing to dismiss ethics charges against Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard.

Lee County Judge Jacob Walker says he will let the charges go to the jury, rejecting a defense request for a summary judgment of acquittal after prosecutors rested their case.

Defense lawyer Bill Baxley says he plans to call on former Gov. Bob Riley, who testified earlier as a prosecution witness.

Hubbard trial continues, Alabama Voting App rolls out

May 25, 2016

The former chief of staff for the Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard has testified in the ethics trial of his former boss.

Josh Blades testified today that he was upset and concerned about "legal implications" after learning that language added to a 2013 budget bill could have benefited one of Hubbard's clients.

Blades said he learned later that a group that would get the work was paying Hubbard through a consulting contract. The language was stripped in conference committee.

hubbard trial
Brynn Anderson / AP

Prosecutors and defense lawyers are presenting very different views of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard as he stands trial on felony ethics charges.

Prosecutors told jurors in opening statements yesterday that Hubbard made around $2.3 million illegally off his elected office and past chairmanship of Alabama’s Republican Party. But the defense argues Hubbard was scrupulously honest, even asking for an ethics opinion before accepting money as a consultant.

Corrections officials are reporting more violence in Alabama’s prisons.

Department of Corrections spokesman Bob Horton says two inmates were stabbed at Draper Correctional Facility in Elmore earlier this week. Three inmates started fighting in a prison dorm, and one used a makeshift knife to stab the others. The inmate accused of the stabbing was transported to another prison.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is not happy the state legislature voted to override his veto on the General Fund Budget.  Lawmakers yesterday voted to enact the $1.8 billion general fund budget which will go in to effect on Oct. 1.  Bentley spoke to the media today along with Medicaid Commissioner Stephanie Azar.  Bentley had sought an additional $100 million for Medicaid. The Legislature only increased the funding for Medicaid by $15 million.

The state of Alabama is taking part in Super Tuesday and the SEC primary election today, and some of the ballots being counted this year are a little special.

The Alabama Secretary of State’s office teamed up with America’s armed services to make Alabama the first state in the country to accept online votes from military members deployed overseas. Election officials tested the system out with Montgomery’s municipal election last year and they say it’s ready for Super Tuesday.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill says voting for deployed soldiers used to be a hassle.

Alabama voters are facing a deadline if they want to take part in the March primary elections. Today is the last day to hand in your registration form in person. APR student reporter Tori Martinez breaks down the deadlines.

Monday is the last day for Alabamians to register online for the so-called SEC Primaries. Registration forms sent in the mail have to be postmarked by Saturday, and Friday is the last day to hand-deliver your forms.

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Elected officials and the family and friends of Mal Moore will gather today, for the dedication of the Mal Moore Memorial Highway.

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