Alabama's top election official certifies special election results as judge rejects Roy Moore's 'voter fraud' complaint

  • On Thursday, Alabama’s head of elections officially certified the results of the special US Senate election, declaring Democrat Doug Jones the next US senator from Alabama.
  • Secretary of State John Merrill had earlier rejected Roy Moore’s request to delay certification of the election, which took place on December 12.
  • Moore has refused to concede for weeks despite losing by a clear margin.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, the state’s chief elections officer, certified the results Thursday of this month’s special US Senate election despite calls from Republican candidate Roy Moore to delay the process.

A complaint filed on behalf of the Moore campaign alleged that “election fraud” contributed to Moore’s loss to Democrat Doug Jones. A statement posted on the Moore campaign’s Facebook page late Wednesday night called on Merrill to delay certification of the election results until the claim could be investigated. That complaint was thrown out on Thursday after a judge dismissed it.

When asked whether Moore’s challenge would affect anything, Merrill told CNN on Thursday that “the short answer to that is no.”

Merrill met with Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and the state Attorney General Steve Marshall to officially certify the results and confirm that Jones will be sworn in as the state’s next senator when Congress returns from recess in January.

Jones defeated Moore earlier this month by a 1.5-point margin, winning by more than 21,000 votes. Moore initially refused to concede, arguing that remaining write-in votes and provisional and military ballots from overseas still needed to be counted. But those remaining ballots, which have since been counted, did not narrow Jones’ lead.

Moore has nonetheless remained defiant.

Just days after the election, the Moore campaign emailed supporters asking for donations that would be used for an “election integrity fund” to investigate and submit cases of voter fraud and other irregularities.

“I also wanted to let you know that this battle is NOT OVER!” Moore said in the email. “My campaign team is busy collecting numerous reported cases of voter fraud and irregularities for the Secretary of State’s office.”

President Donald Trump and other republicans have called on Moore to concede.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” Republican Rep. Leonard Lance of New Jersey said on CNN Thursday, referring to Moore’s refusal to step aside. ” I’m a strong Republican, but I did not support Roy Moore and he should concede the election.”

The Alabama Senate election ended on the heels of a scandal in which multiple women accused Moore of various levels of sexual misconduct they said occurred when he was in his 30s and they were as young as 14 years old. Moore had offered conflicting statements about his accusers – at points acknowledging that he had known some of the women and then later saying he did not.

When Jones is sworn in next month, the former prosecutor will be the first Democrat to hold an Alabama Senate seat since 1992.

Bryan Logan contributed to this report.

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