Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Roy Moore files last-minute lawsuit challenging Alabama result

Sen.-elect Doug Jones speaks during a news conference Wednesday Dec. 13 2017 in Birmingham Ala Sen.-elect Doug Jones speaks during a news conference Wednesday Dec. 13 2017 in Birmingham Ala
Ray Hunter | 29 December, 2017, 01:54

With Jones' upset victory in Alabama confirmed, the Republican party of President Donald Trump now holds 51 seats in the Senate and the Democrats have 49 - the slimmest of majorities. "I will be an independent voice and work to find common ground with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get Washington back on track and fight to make our country a better place for all", Jones said.

Mr Merrill said he had so far found no evidence of voter fraud, but pledged that his office would investigate any complaint submitted by Mr Moore.

Jones, who is the first Democrat elected to the U.S. Senate in Alabama in more than two decades, said he looks forward to working for his constituents in the new year.

Moore has denied wrongdoing and Reuters has not been able to independently verify the allegations.

The final margin was 21,924 votes, or 1.63 percent.

Alabama officials on Thursday certified Democrat Doug Jones the victor of the state's U.S. Senate race, after a state judge denied a legal challenge by Republican Roy Moore, whose campaign was derailed by accusations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls.

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Jones is the first Democrat in a generation to win a Senate seat in Alabama, beating Moore amid a firestorm of allegations that the GOP candidate had sexually abused teens.

He will fill the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when Sessions became US attorney general in the Donald Trump administration early this year. The official numbers certified Thursday showed that Jones slightly expanded his lead over Moore.

Moore declined to concede defeat even after Trump urged him to do so.

Mr Moore's lawsuit alleges that there were voting irregularities in 20 precincts and calls for a fraud investigation and a new election.

Janet Porter, a spokeswoman for Moore's campaign, told CNN in an interview on Thursday that the challenge aimed to ensure that votes were properly counted.

"The people of Alabama have spoken and Moore lost". The complaint cites conspiracy theorist Richard Charnin as an election expert who said that the chances of the unofficial election results being accurate were "less than one in 15 billion". He said Moore's complaint seemed to boil down to the belief that he should have won based on exit polling and that the high turnout, including by African-American voters, must indicate fraud. Moore says that he took the polygraph test after the December 12 election, according to his affidavit, included in the complaint.

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