On December 28 Democrat Doug Jones was officially certified the winner of the December 12 special election for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, despite allegations by Republican candidate Roy Moore that there was evidence of vote fraud.
On the previous day Moore (shown) filed a last-minute election complaint in an effort to postpone the election certification ahead of Jones being sworn into office on January 3. According to a press release published by Moore's campaign team, the purpose of the complaint is to set aside the results of the election until a thorough investigation is conducted into Moore's charges that fraud “improperly altered the outcome of this election.”
Moore said that three national election integrity experts independently concluded, “with a reasonable degree of statistical and mathematical certainty,” that election fraud occurred in the race. Those experts determined that there were sufficient irregularities in 20 precincts of Alabama's Jefferson County alone to reverse the outcome of the election.
One of the experts, Richard Charnin, who holds three degrees in applied mathematics and has published a handful of books on election fraud, calculated that there was a “less than one in 15 billion” probability that the election results in the Jefferson County precincts occurred naturally.
Addressing the charges, Moore said that “this is not a Republican or Democrat issue, as election integrity should matter to everyone. We call on Secretary of State Merrill to delay certification until there is a thorough investigation of what three independent election experts agree took place: election fraud sufficient to overturn the outcome of the election.”
Weeks ahead of the election Moore had been projected to handily win the seat vacated by Sessions when he became President Trump's attorney general. But when a handful of women stepped forward to claim that Moore had supposedly behaved improperly toward them decades earlier, Moore was forced to spend the last weeks of the campaign defending his reputation, with both state and national Republican leaders pressuring for him to step aside.
In the complaint filed against the election results, Moore included an affidavit proving he successfully passed a polygraph test in which he denied the misconduct allegations leveled by the women. Addressing the allegations and the subsequent campaigns by both parties against his campaign, Moore said: “It’s appalling that the Democrat Senate Majority PAC and the Republican Senate Leadership Fund both spent millions to run false and malicious ads against me in this campaign.”
Ultimately Moore lost the election to Jones by a margin of 21,000 votes out of more than 1.3 million cast, with Jones becoming the first Democrat in over two decades to win a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama.
Despite Moore's charges and the expert findings, Secretary of State Merrill insisted that he could see no evidence of fraud and refused to postpone the certification of Jones' victory or to initiate an investigation of potential election fraud. “I have not seen any irregularities or any inconsistencies that are outside the norm,” he told reporters.
The Associated Press quoted Merrill as saying that Moore's complaint “is not going to delay certification and Doug Jones will be certified [December 28] at 1 p.m. and he will be sworn in by Vice President Pence on the third of January.”
Photo of Roy Moore: AP Images