An Alabama judge has rejected Roy Moore’s last-minute lawsuit to block Doug Jones from being officially declared the winner of the Alabama Senate election, alleging voter fraud after losing to the Democratic candidate by 20,000 votes.
Montgomery Circuit Judge Johnny Hardwick on Thursday denied Moore’s attempt to delay the certification of votes.
An Alabama judge's ruling against Roy Moore. pic.twitter.com/T9xl3K4NND
— Alan Blinder (@alanblinder) December 28, 2017
Shortly before the ruling, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, an outspoken supporter of Roy Moore, announced that the GOP candidate’s lawsuit would not stop the state from declaring Democrat Doug Jones the winner.
“What you were asking me is will this affect anything. The short answer to that is no,” Merrill said in an interview with CNN.
“Doug Jones will be certified at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, 1 p.m. Central Time. … We will sign the documents certifying him as the senator for the state of Alabama. He will be sworn in by Vice President Pence on the 3rd of January when the Senate returns.”
“The purpose of the complaint is to preserve evidence of potential election fraud and to postpone the certification of Alabama’s Special Election by Secretary of State John Merrill until a thorough investigation of potential election fraud, that improperly altered the outcome of this election, is conducted,” Moore’s campaign said in a statement after filing the lawsuit.
“We call on Secretary of State Merrill to delay certification until there is a thorough investigation,” the statement continued while citing “three independent election experts” who say there was “election fraud sufficient to overturn the outcome of the election.”
Sam Coleman, a spokesman for Jones, called the court filing a “desperate attempt” on behalf of Moore to challenge the election results.
“This desperate attempt by Roy Moore to subvert the will of the people will not succeed. The election is over, it’s time to move on,” Coleman said in a statement to The Hill.