Merrill wins 2nd term as secretary of state

    John Merrill (<p>{/p}

    Voters have re-elected Republican Secretary of State John Merrill to a second term as Alabama's top elections and record-keeping official.

    Merrill defeated Democratic challenger and political newcomer Heather Milam. The former bank executive and school system spokesman was elected secretary of state in 2014 after serving in the Alabama House.

    Merrill touted his record on both voter registration and implementing the state's photo voter identification requirement. The message resonated with voters in a state dominated by conservative Republicans.

    Milam comes from a background in publishing that includes being founder and general manager of Weld, a free community newspaper in Birmingham. She ran as a champion of voting rights, saying she supports measures to make it easier to vote such as automatic voter registration and early voting.

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