Those on the left who are angry about anything and everything related to President Donald Trump have, in some instances, published contact information for administration officials and urged their peers to call and harass those with ties to the White House. This form of tantrum throwing has been largely criticized by most people who still value decorum in pubic debate.
But in Alabama, there’s a new twist on the dialing-direct method of airing grievances.
Alabama Sec. of State John Merrill is fed up with claims by opponents of the state’s voter ID law that tens of thousands of Alabama citizens are being denied the right to vote. So he’s trying to shut them up with a bold offer: If you don’t have an ID card, we’ll come to your home and bring you one.
He’s even gone so far as to publish his personal cell phone number as a way for anyone in need of an ID to reach him.
We do that. And if anyone needs a home visit because they cannot make our remote location visits to the festivals or community centers we will go to their homes and give them a photo ID and make sure they are registered to vote. Just call my cell at 334-328-2787
— John Merrill (@JohnHMerrill) July 6, 2018
As opponents of voter ID laws continue to label them as a racist Republican policy, Merrill has stressed to people in his state that the purpose behind voter ID laws is very simple.
“All we’re trying to do is make it easy to vote and hard to cheat,” Merrill said in a May interview on the syndicated “Rick & Bubba” radio show.
Merrill has been an enthusiastic defender of his state’s voter ID law.
The secretary of state went head-to-head with NAACP Legal Defense Fund head Sherrilyn Ifill in Washington earlier this year, countering her claim that Alabama’s voter ID law prevented 188,000 people from voting.
Merrill said Ifill couldn’t provide evidence of a single person the law precluded from voting.
“The thing that made me so proud about that is we testified again — the two of us, Ifill and I did — before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in Charlotte in March of this year,” Merrill said on “Rick & Bubba.”
“And when she brought (that number) up again, I said, ‘You’re telling a lie. And you just need to acknowledge that because you can’t show me 188,000 people,'” he added. “As a matter of fact, you can’t show me a person in this state that doesn’t have an ID that will allow them to participate. And if you do, give me the name of one person, we will go to their home today, and we will give them a valid ID for free.”
A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit earlier this year brought by Greater Birmingham Ministries, the Alabama NAACP and other individual plaintiffs who claimed the state’s voter ID law violated the Voting Rights Act, as well as the 14th and 15th Amendments of Constitution.
Merrill said his office is doing everything it can to streamline the process of obtaining a voter ID card.
“I want each and every eligible U.S. citizen that is a resident of Alabama to be registered to vote and have a photo ID,” Merrill said. “That’s why we’ve made the effort that we’ve made.”
There’s always been a healthy dose of skepticism among those who support voter ID about claims from Democrats that large numbers of voters would be shut out of casting a ballot because they didn’t have proper ID, despite the fact those same so-called suppressed voters don’t think twice about being required to show an ID to cash a check, seek treatment at a hospital, or even have a prescription filled.
But when the offer is made to have a voter ID card hand-delivered to you at home, then opponents of the law really have nothing to complain about. Unless, of course, they realize that voter ID actually does prevent voter fraud. That’s when the real motivation of blocking voter ID laws comes into focus.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.