Alabama officials certify Jones as Senate victor despite Moore challenge

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Republican Roy Moore, who lost, is claiming that voter fraud played a massive role in his opponent, Democrat Doug Jones, pulling off an upset victory. "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", Jones said.

Mr Merrill said he had so far found no evidence of voter fraud, but pledged that his office would investigate any complaint submitted by Mr Moore.

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.

He unexpectedly lost to Jones by about 20,000 votes in the special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, who is now US attorney general.

The results in Jones' race against Republican challenger Roy Moore were certified today despite a last-minute lawsuit filed by the former Alabama Chief Justice.

Moore was defeated in the race by Democrat Doug Jones.

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

Jones will now be sworn in early next month, having been the first Democrat to win a Senate seat in Alabama since 1992.

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He takes over the seat previously held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and his term expires in January 2021.

In a brief meeting Thursday at the Alabama Capitol, the governor, attorney general and secretary of state signed paperwork certifying the final ballot numbers.

The Moore campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TIME. "It's time to move on", Sam Coleman wrote in an email.

Alabama election officials have officially declared Democrat Doug Jones the victor of a special Senate election held earlier this month.

A spokesman for Jones earlier called Moore's action a "desperate subvert the will of the people".

He also said he completed a lie detector test after the election that he argued proved the allegations against him were false.

Moore has sent several fundraising emails to supporters asking for donations to investigate claims of voter fraud. He said Moore's complaint seemed to boil down to the belief that he should have won based on exit polling and that the high turnout, including by African-American voters, must indicate fraud.