Alabama officials certify Jones as Senate victor despite Moore challenge
29 December, 2017, 01:52 | Author: Mable Gonzales
But even before the judge had dismissed the case and Jones's victory was certified, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said the complaint would have no impact on the election's result. Jones said he will be an "independent voice" in the Senate and will strive for "common ground with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle".
If the election is prematurely certified, Mr. Moore's lawyers wrote, he will "suffer irreparable harm" and be "denied his full right as a candidate to a fair election".
Jones defeated Moore on December 12 by 21,924 votes in a stunning victory in a traditionally red state, becoming the first Alabama Democrat elected to the Senate victory in a quarter-century.
He said Moore's complaint might just be a way for him to fundraise and throw "red meat to his loyal supporters". Jones will be sworn in to the Senate in January.
Republican Roy Moore, who lost a recent Alabama senate election to his Democrat rival Doug Jones, has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to challenge the result.
He unexpectedly lost to Jones by about 20,000 votes in the special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, who is now USA attorney general.
Jones and Moore were competing to fill the U.S. Senate seat that previously belonged to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. But the certification went on as planned on Thursday, with Merrill, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and state Attorney General Steve Marshall - all Republicans - signing off on the proceedings. Alabama officials are scheduled to certify the results during a 1 p.m. meeting Thursday at the State Capitol.
Mr. Merrill did not immediately respond to a text message.
A day after the election, Merrill said it was "highly unlikely" that Jones, 63, would not be certified as the victor.
"I have stood for the truth about God and the Constitution for the people of Alabama", the conservative Christian said. 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.
During an interview with CNN, Merrill, who voted for Moore, outlined some of the voter fraud claims his office has had to deal with in the weeks that followed Jones's surprise victory and Moore's refusal to concede the race.
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