Atheist advocacy group wants voter oath removed from registration forms

Alabama News

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is suing Alabama’s Secretary State over the mandatory religious oath on voter registration forms, calling it unconstitutional.

A Wednesday news release from The Freedom From Religion Foundation said Alabama is the only state that requires voters to swear “so help me God” when signing the registration form. 

The suit is being filed on behalf of four Alabamians who claim their constitutional rights have been obstructed because “they are unable to swear a religious oath.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based group,  is filing the lawsuit against Secretary of State John H. Merrill. Merrill’s office said the registration forms are “prescribed by statute” and “that any changes would require legislative action.” The foundation dismissed that claim.

WRBL News Three reached out to three members of the Alabama Legislature for a response to the lawsuit. Only State Representative Chris Blackshear, a Republican from Phenix City responded.

“The Freedom from Religion Foundation clearly does not represent the values of the people of Alabama. This is an attempt by a liberal organization to raise funds from out of state donors. I support Secretary of State Merrill in his defense of Alabama’s election law,” said Alabama State Representative Chris Blackshear,(R), District 80.

The foundation dismissed Merrill’s claim that changes would require legislative action.

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