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    Alabama certifies Doug Jones’ victory over Roy Moore in Senate election

    Alabama has certified the result of Doug Jones’ upset Senate victory, clearing the Democrat’s path to Washington just hours after his Republican rival filed a lawsuit asking for a new election.
    On Thursday afternoon, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, Attorney General Steve Marshall and Secretary of State John Merrill – all Republicans – signed off on election results from all 67 counties. After late-counted provisional and military ballots were added to the total, Jones defeated Republican nominee Roy Moore by 21,924 votes out of more than 1.3 million cast.
    Moore, the first Republican to lose a Senate race in Alabama since 1992, had attempted to stop that vote from being counted. Late Wednesday night, the former state judge filed a legal complaint alleging “election fraud,” and asked the state to consider holding a new election.
    In the complaint, filed in state court, Moore’s campaign argued that Alabama would “suffer irreparable harm if the election results are certified without preserving and investigating all the evidence of potential fraud.”
    Moore’s campaign cited rumors of election fraud that had already been investigated and refuted by the Alabama secretary of state, argued that high Democratic turnout in key areas was statistically unlikely, and reported that Moore himself had taken a polygraph test – an attempt to disprove allegations that he made unwanted sexual advances on teenagers when he was in his 30s.
    Moore’s lawyers filed the complaint at 10:33 p.m. Wednesday night, and announced it to reporters less than two hours later. Early Thursday morning, Merrill’s office said that it would move ahead with the election certification unless ordered to do otherwise.
    Shortly before the official certification, Montgomery Circuit Judge Johnny Hardwick denied Moore’s request to stop the process.
    Moore’s complaint, filed in the circuit court of Montgomery, Ala., contains little that election observers have not already seen and dismissed. Moore’s campaign argues that the election result, a 1.5-point margin of victory for Jones, was “contrary to most of the impartial, independent polls conducted prior to the Special Election.”
    It accuses the secretary of state of failing to properly investigate claims of “election fraud,” while at the same time recounting how the state cracked down after sample ballots in one heavily Democratic County were found pre-marked for Jones.

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