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Alabama lets voters opt out of ‘so help me God’ on registration forms

Vote Credit Ally Aubry via Flickr CC BY 20 filter added CNA Ally Aubry via Flickr (CC BY 2.0). Filter added.

Alabama has changed its voter registration forms to allow people to opt out of the portion of an oath that says “so help me God.” The decision was made following a lawsuit from the Freedom From Religious Foundation.

 

The lawsuit, against Secretary of State John Merrill, was filed on behalf of four atheists who said the forms amounted to a constitutionally-prohibited religious requirement.

 

The new forms still include an oath with the phrase “so help me God” but include a box to opt out due to sincere convictions, the Associated Press reported. Signers will still have to “swear or affirm” that they meet voter eligibility requirements.

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“While the language ‘so help me God’ has been included on voter registration applications since well before I took office, this issue was just brought to light, and we remain willing to accommodate all voters of Alabama,” Merrill said in a statement.

 

The Freedom From Religion Foundation asked that the federal lawsuit be dropped after the change was made, the Associated Press reported.

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