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Roy Moore files last-minute lawsuit challenging Alabama result

Roy Moore files last-minute lawsuit challenging Alabama result

Jones pulled off a massive upset in mid-December, edging out former Judge Roy Moore. 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".

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill certified the election results at a meeting of the state canvassing board, which also includes Governor Kay Ivey and Attorney General Steve Marshall.

Moore, whose campaign filed a last-minute "election fraud" complaint on Thursday just before the results were certified just after 2 p.m. EST, claimed that widespread voter fraud had contributed to his more than 20,000 vote loss to Jones, a number that was not significantly altered by the inclusion of military and provisional ballots that were later counted.

Moore has denied wrongdoing and Reuters has not been able to independently verify the allegations.

Prior to the certification the Secretary of State's office noted that Jones' final margin of victory was 21,924 votes, AL.com reported.

Alabama officials on Thursday certified Democrat Doug Jones the victor of the state's U.S. Senate race, after a state judge denied a legal challenge by Republican Roy Moore, whose campaign was derailed by accusations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls.

Swearing-in ceremonies for Jones are set for January 3 when the Senate reconvenes from its winter break.

Doug Jones won the race for Alabama nearly two weeks ago
Image Doug Jones won the race for Alabama nearly two weeks ago

Alabama judge Johnny Hardwick rejected Moore's lawsuit shortly before Jones' certification.

Jones defeated Moore by about 20,000 votes. He's filling the seat vacated by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. 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.

As he launched his campaign, he said he saw an opening for a rare Democratic win against Moore, a polarizing figure in the state.

The Alabama judge came under fire during his campaign after multiple women came forward accusing him of pursuing sexual relationships with them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.

"The people of Alabama have spoken and Moore lost".

"This election has been conducted with the utmost integrity", Merrill told a news conference.

Moore's complaint also alleged "anomalous" higher voter turnout in Jefferson County, in which census data shows 43% of the population is black. Moore denied the accusations and said he has taken and passed a polygraph test to prove they are false.

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