Doug Jones is certified as US senator, despite lawsuit by failed candidate Roy Moore
Accused child molester Roy Moore made a last-ditch attempt to grasp an Alabama Senate seat by filing a lawsuit to stop his former opponent being seated – but his plans fell through.
Moore, a Republican, claims that his Democrat candidate Doug Jones only won in the deep-red state due to voter irregularities.
Late on Wednesday Moore asked a judge to issue a restraining order to stop the state’s canvassing board from certifying Jones’ victory on Thursday.
But on Thursday afternoon, four Alabama officials certified Jones as Senator for the state.
Speaking before the certification, Secretary of State John Merrill swore that Moore’s action was “not going to delay certification and Doug Jones … will be sworn in by vice-president Pence …”
Sam Coleman, a spokesman for Jones, called Moore’s action a “desperate attempt … to subvert the will of the people,” and added: “The election is over. It’s time to move on.”
Jones defeated Moore by about 20,000 votes in the December 12 special election after Moore’s campaign was deeply wounded by accusations of sexual misconduct involving teenage girls decades ago.
Moore has denied the accusations and has said he has taken and passed a polygraph test to prove they are false.
Moore’s lawyer wrote in the wide-ranging complaint that he believed there were irregularities during the election, including that voters may have been brought in from other states.
He attached a statement from a poll worker that she had noticed licences from Georgia and North Carolina as people signed in to vote.
The complaint also noted the higher-than-expected turnout in the race, particularly in Jefferson County, and said that Moore’s numbers were lower than straight-ticket Republican voting in about 20 Jefferson County precincts. The complaint asks for a fraud investigation and eventually a new election.
“This is not a Republican or Democrat issue as election integrity should matter to everyone,” Moore said in a statement released on Wednesday announcing the complaint.
Merrill said he has so far not found any evidence of voter fraud, but he has said that his office will investigate any complaint Moore submits.
Moore has sent several fundraising emails to supporters asking for donations to investigate claims of voter fraud.
Jones and Moore were competing to fill the US Senate seat that previously belonged to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.