After Alabama’s Secretary of State John Merrill promoted the state’s voter ID law at a church service held Sunday to commemorate the anniversary of a civil rights milestone in Selma, patrons walked out.
The service at Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Alabama was held to commemorate the 52nd anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” march that erupted in police violence on Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge, according to a video posted to Rev. William Barber’s Facebook page.
Barber, who is president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach, and church patrons walked out after Merrill spoke in support of Alabama’s voter ID law, according to the video’s caption.
“We can’t be polite about this. We can’t be casual or cavalier,” Barber told a reporter. “We have more voter suppression in recent years than we’ve seen since Jim Crow.”
He said that Merrill’s promotion of the voter ID law was “another lie.”
Merrill seems like a nice guy.
In October 2015, Merrill insisted that the closure of 31 driver’s license offices — many in majority black counties — would not prevent residents from obtaining the government-issued photo ID required to vote in Alabama.
Before the 2016 election, he went on to blast automatic voter registration, saying that it would “cheapen” the work of civil rights leaders.
“If you’re too sorry or lazy to get up off of your rear and to go register to vote, or to register electronically, and then to go vote, then you don’t deserve that privilege,” Merrill said.
He then lashed out at criticism of Alabama’s registration process and threatened to prosecute a filmmaker who described registering to vote in the state as “complex and complicated.”
Merrill threatened to prosecute Brian Jenkins if he was registered in two states, even though Jenkins never claimed to be registered in Alabama.
In conclusion, I am shocked that Alabama has supplied the nation Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III as Attorney General.