Alabama's Republican Secretary of State John Merrill tried to make it as clear as possible that widespread voter fraud did not occur in Alabama's special Senate election that saw Democrat Doug Jones pull off a shocking upset over embattled Republican Roy Moore.
"This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, as election integrity should matter to everyone", Moore said.
Montgomery Circuit Judge Johnny Hardwick on Thursday denied Moore's attempt to delay the certification of votes while Moore's claims of voting irregularities were investigated. "He will be sworn in by Vice President Pence on the third of January when the Senate returns". Janet Porter, a Moore spokeswoman, said earlier on CNN that the chances of voter fraud not having an effect on the election were astronomically low. The night of the election, Moore, who lost the election by roughly 20,000 votes - which was not close enough to trigger an automatic recount - told his supporters "when the vote is this close that it's not over", invoking God to "let this process play out". The election results will be certified at 1 p.m. CST.
If you had a feeling that Roy Moore would admit defeat to Doug Jones any day now, think again.
A spokesperson for the Doug Jones transition team, Sam Coleman, has released a statement on behalf of Doug Jones this morning in response to Roy Moore's challenge.
After his appointment as USA attorney in Birmingham in 1997, Jones led a team of federal and state attorneys during trials that resulted in the convictions of Thomas Blanton Jr in 2001 and Bobby Frank Cherry in 2002. Secretary of State John Merrill said he has found no evidence of voter fraud, and he said the state canvassing board would certify Jones' victory as planned on Thursday afternoon. According to a release from the Moore campaign, "The goal 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".
"The reported results were contrary to most of the impartial, independent polls conducted prior to the Special Election and in contrast to exit polls", the complaint states.
Prominent conservatives who allege voter fraud is more prevalent than evidence now suggests declined to add their voice to Moore's complaint.
But Alabama's Republican leaders continued as scheduled, certifying the votes to give Democrats the win Thursday.