Special to the
Opelika Observer

The following is a direct statement from Secretary of State John H. Merrill and is in response to the recent coronavirus relief package appropriated by Congress:
“As we navigate these uncharted waters, we must remember that Alabama has a lot to be grateful for.
The leadership exemplified by state and national leaders like President Donald J. Trump, United States Sen. Richard Shelby and Gov. Kay Ivey should not go unnoticed.
Our state is incredibly lucky to have leaders who are willing to step up to the plate and go to bat for Alabama, which is precisely what Senator Shelby has done.
The historic coronavirus relief package recently appropriated to the states would not have been possible without the leadership and guidance of Senator Shelby.
How do I know this? I know this to be true because those words came straight from Sen. Mitch McConnell and his team. When liberal extremists pushed their agenda, Senator Shelby drew a line in the sand and said, ‘no farther!’
I am most grateful for the $400 million provided by Congress to protect the 2020 elections. I am also thankful for the provisions that allow each state to do what is best for that state.
Senator Shelby and his team have been receptive and engaged in finding proactive solutions to ensure the safety and security of our elections are not compromised.
After countless calls from me and other election officials from across the country, Senator Shelby made it a priority to see that states were granted the flexibility to best accommodate their respective communities under the bill’s stipulations.
Unlike others who have attempted to implement nationwide election changes – many that would increase the likelihood for voter fraud and voter intimidation to be committed – Senator Shelby has proven yet again that federal interference into the elections process in unwarranted and unnecessary.
While we work to get through these trying times, we must remember there is much to be grateful for, such as the collaboration of federal, state and local officials across the country who are working together to provide assistance to those who are most in need.
At the forefront of this fight, finding a solution to the problems we face is Alabama’s Senior Senator, our greatest champion and favorite son, United States Sen. Richard C. Shelby!”
Merrill currently serves as Alabama’s Secretary of State.