Secretary of State John Merrill said Thursday his office is doing all it can to respond to voter ID requests. But they don’t know the scope of the need in the state. The Secretary of State’s Office does not have estimates of the needs for voter ID cards among the more than 3 million registered voters in Alabama, and Merrill said Thursday they do not plan to. “We don’t want to expend our energies and resources in trying to identify that need when we’re trying to meet it each and every day,” he said.
The remarks came Thursday amid a broader discussion of voter registration and preparedness for the coming elections. Merrill said nearly 991,000 Alabamians had registered to vote since he took office as Secretary of State in 2015, with about two-thirds of those numbers coming from electronic registrations.
The state’s photo voter ID law went into effect for the 2014 elections. Voters must show a valid photo ID — like a driver’s license — when showing up at the polls. Supporters of the measure said it would ensure the integrity of elections; opponents note that in-person voter fraud is exceptionally rare. The state offers voter ID cards free of charge to those who need them.