Previewing Alabama’s Secretary of State Republican primary

Wes Allen, Christian Horn, Ed Packard, and Jim Zeigler are running in the Republican primary for Alabama Secretary of State on May 24, 2022. Incumbent John Merrill (R) is term-limited.

Each candidate points to his background as equipping him for the position. Allen was a Pike County Probate Court judge and says he administered more than a dozen elections without error. Horn, a business owner, calls himself a conservative outsider. Packard worked in the Secretary of State office’s elections division for more than 24 years and says he knows the duties of the office. Zeigler, the state auditor, said he’d been a “watchman against government waste, mismanagement and corruption” and would be a watchman for election integrity in the Secretary of State office.

The candidates have each highlighted areas of election policy they would focus on. Allen has emphasized his opposition to mass mail, no-excuse absentee, early, and curbside voting and support for a photo ID requirement. Horn calls himself “a champion for Voter ID, integrity and security” and said he would work to promote the state’s election system to other states. Packard says the state needs post-election audits. And Zeigler highlights his support for a photo ID requirement and opposition to same-day voter registration, allowing non-citizens to vote, efforts to extend the voting period, ballot drop boxes, and allowing people to return ballots on behalf of other voters.

Republicans have held the Secretary of State office in Alabama since 2007.

The secretary of state is Alabama’s chief election official and certifies vote totals, ballots, and fundraising records. The secretary of state is also responsible for business registration and keeping the state government’s official documents and public records.