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Atheist advocacy group sues state over religious voter oath

FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2020 file photo, stickers to be given to people who have voted are seen at a satellite election office at Temple University's Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.
FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2020 file photo, stickers to be given to people who have voted are seen at a satellite election office at Temple University's Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.(AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)
Published: Oct. 5, 2020 at 10:24 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - An atheist advocacy group has filed a lawsuit against Alabama’s secretary of state, claiming that a mandatory religious oath on voter registration forms is 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 Wisconsin-based group is filing the lawsuit against Secretary of State John H. Merrill on behalf of four Alabamians, who said their constitutional rights have been obstructed because “they are unable to swear a religious oath.”

Merrill’s office said the registration forms are “prescribed by statute” and “that any changes would require legislative action.” The foundation dismissed that claim.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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