Doug Jones says win is 'new chapter' for Alabama

Democrat Doug Jones speaks in Birmingham Ala. after his election-night victory over Roy Moore in Alabama’s U.S. Senate race. AP

Merrill's office received roughly 120 complaints of voter fraud, mostly from sources outside Alabama, and roughly 70% had already been investigated and adjudicated. "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".

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill is pictured shortly after certification of the special election.

Alabama's Secretary of State John Merrill told the Associated Press on Wednesday evening that Moore's complaint would not stop the election results from being certified.

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

Jones won 49.97 percent of the vote compared to Moore's 48.34 percent, a margin of almost 22,000 votes out of 1.35 million cast, officials said - a record for a special election.

In a complaint filed in the circuit court here in Alabama's capital, Mr. Moore's campaign argued that such fraud had tainted the December 12 special election, which Mr. Moore lost to Doug Jones by fewer than 22,000 votes, and that the Alabama authorities had inadequately investigated claims of misconduct. The official numbers certified Thursday showed that Jones slightly expanded his lead over Moore.

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The allegations, first reported by the Post, may have been what cost Moore the election.

Moore, the first Republican to lose a United States Senate race in Alabama in 25 years, moved late Wednesday to block state officials from certifying the victory of his Democratic rival on Thursday afternoon because of "systematic voter fraud". "We are proud of the Alabama voters who believed the women", Allred wrote in an e-mail to TIME.

Gloria Allred, an attorney representing Beverly Nelson Young, who had alleged Moore sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager, said Moore's attempts to discredit the victims would not work.

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. The complaint also noted the higher-than-expected turnout in the race, particularly in Jefferson County.

Rick Hasen, an election law expert and professor at the University of California, Irvine, said Moore's complaint did not raise the sort of issues that lead courts to overturn an election. The seat was previously held by Republican Jeff Sessions, who was tapped by U.S. President Donald Trump as attorney general. He said Moore's complaint might just be a way for him to fundraise and throw "red meat to his loyal supporters".

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