Republican Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said “every state in the union,” should eliminate the private donor funding of election administration.
In an exclusive interview on Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Saturday with host Matt Boyle, Merrill said, “We had states that sacrificed security, accountability, transparency for accessibility and availability of the ballot. We should never sacrifice security, transparency, and accountability in the elections process for anything,”
Merrill is the co-chair of the recently established election integrity commission of the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC).
Boyle noted the 2020 general election was “unique” in that, for the first time, major private donors — such as Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, who donated $350 million to the Center for Technology and Civic Live (CTCL) and $69 million to the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR) this election cycle — funded the administration of elections in many counties and localities around the country.
If you missed my radio interview this morning, this article captured by @BreitbartNews will help you understand our efforts to promote the work of the @RSLC Commission on Election Integrity across the USA! Our goal is to make it #EasyToVoteAndHardToCheat https://t.co/9qZFhr7cvk
— John Merrill (@JohnHMerrill) February 20, 2021
“It seems very wrong to me that a private oligarch, a billionaire like Mark Zuckerberg, or any other billionaire, I don’t care what their politics are, they could be the Koch Brothers… I just don’t think that they should be funding election offices. That’s a function of our government of our states… I know that there’s a proposal in Georgia that they’re considering to make it illegal for local election offices to accept such money. It seems like that’s a common sense thing. Elections should be run by our governments at the state level, and local level, not funded by whatever… special interest donors exist out there,” Boyle said.
“You are correct. One of the things that we are doing in our state because we did not have anything on the books, we had no statutory language in Alabama that eliminated that [private funding of the administration of elections at the county and local level] as a practice in electioneering,” Merrill responded.
“We’re going to be having our legislature, our House and Senate, consider legislation just like they’re doing in Georgia. We think every state in the union should do the same thing. That is not an acceptable practice. To have a third party group, regardless of their political philosophy, come in and try to encourage people (a) to participate in the process, but (b), even more than that, demonstrate their bent towards a political philosophy of one party or the other in regard to this. You are correct, and that is one of the things we’re giving attention to,” Merrill said.
Merrill also explained that, during the 2020 general elections, some states made sure every jurisdiction followed state election laws, while other states did not.
“In Alabama we have laws in force, in place, and adhered to in all 67 counties. It’s the same thing in the 67 counties in Florida. Florida learned that the hard way in Bush v. Gore 2000,” Merrill said.
In contrast, Merrill noted, “In the 15 counties in Arizona, the 16 counties in Nevada, the 67 counties in California, the 67 counties in Pennsylvania, the 46 counties in South Carolina, and as everybody knows, the 159 counties in Georgia, they are not following their own laws in their own local jurisdictions.”