Op-Ed ‘President Biden should make up his mind’

Alabama Sec. of State John Merrill

John H. Merrill (The Office of the Secretary of State)


 Last week, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed into law S.B. 202, a piece of reform legislation that will enhance the security and integrity of elections in our neighbor state.

While the bill makes numerous changes to the voting process in Georgia, the bill requires proof of identification to be submitted along with absentee ballots.

Because of Alabama’s security measures, including our photo ID, witness and notary requirements, we witnessed a clean, secure and fraud-free election last fall. With more than 305,000 absentee ballots cast (more than three times the state’s previous record for absentee participation), not a single case of alleged voter fraud related to absentee voting was identified.

The Georgia Legislature should be commended for their efforts to protect the integrity of the elections process. But instead, President Joe Biden has chosen to criticize the bill and label it as ‘Jim Crow in the 21st Century.’ While Biden incorrectly cited that the bill would end voting hours early, experts have since reported the bill would actually expand voting opportunities for Georgians, not limit them. Through offering mandatory Saturday voting options and offering optional Sunday voting hours, S.B. 202 increases options for Georgia voters.

In response to Biden’s ludicrous statement, Kemp correctly stated, ‘This bill expands voting access, streamlines vote-counting procedures and ensures election integrity. There is nothing “Jim Crow” about requiring a photo or state-issued ID to vote by absentee ballot.’

And now, the Biden Administration has introduced an effort to develop a national COVID-19 vaccine passport to prove vaccination for entry into certain locations or to travel.

If proof of vaccination is required to walk into a building or to travel internationally, how is requiring photo ID to cast a ballot suppressive of voting rights or burdensome on voters?

President Biden should make up his mind about when he feels identification should be necessary, unless that decision depends solely on when it benefits his cause or who profits from the decision.

Considering we have broken every record in the history of the state for voter participation, Alabamians have proved that showing identification when casting a ballot does not hinder participation or limit access to the ballot box, contrary to what liberal Democrats may be falsely claiming elsewhere.

Regardless, we will continue to see that it is easy to vote and hard to cheat in Alabama.

Alabama Sec. of State John Merrill