Alabama officials certify Jones as Senate victor despite Moore challenge

Doug Jones declared winner of Senate seat as Roy Moore fights

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said he has no intention of delaying the canvassing board meeting. He will be sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence and will assume his duties immediately after. His swearing will come three weeks after his upset victory against Moore to give Alabama its first Democratic Senator in 20 years. Alabama "will suffer irreparable harm" otherwise, the complaint argues, going on to urge state leaders to call a new special election. 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".

Moore was defeated in the race by Democrat Doug Jones. Moore, 651,972, 48.3 percent and write-ins, 22,852, or 1.7 percent.

Moore appeared to be the favorite in the contest to fill the Senate seat held by Jeff Sessions, who is now Trump's attorney general.

In his own statement after the results were certified, Moore repeated his charge that the election was "fraudulent".

The Alabama State Canvassing Board, which includes Gov. Kay Ivey, Secretary of State John Merrill and Attorney General Steve Marshall, signed the certification to officially confirm Jones' stunning victory over embattled Republican Roy Moore.

Republican Roy Moore is doing everything he can to stop Democrat Doug Jones from being certified as the victor of a special election in Alabama to fill an open seat in the U.S. Senate, but his efforts have thus far been unsuccessful. Previously, Merrill has said it is "highly unlikely" that Jones would not be certified as the victor of the election.

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"I have stood for the truth about God and the Constitution for the people of Alabama", the conservative Christian said.

The lawsuit was filed the day before officials were due to certify Mr Jones the victor - two weeks after the vote.

Janet Porter, a spokeswoman for Moore's campaign, told CNN in an interview on Thursday that the challenge aimed to ensure that votes were properly counted.

The allegations, first reported by the Post, may have been what cost Moore the election. Moore denied the accusations and said in the lawsuit that he had passed a polygraph test to prove they are false. He refused to concede the race and on Wednesday night submitted an election complaint alleging potential voter fraud that could have impacted the results enough to tip the race toward his opponent.

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.

Moore's complaint also alleged "anomalous" higher voter turnout in Jefferson County, in which census data shows 43% of the population is black. 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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