Just 14 hours before a state canvassing board was set to meet today to officially declare Democrat Doug Jones the winner of Mississippi’s U.S. Senate race, Roy Moore’s attorney filed a complaint seeking to halt the proceedings.
Moore’s lawyer wrote that there were irregularities during the election and called for a fraud investigation and a new election.
Jones beat Moore by 20,000 votes in a Dec. 12 special election, marking the first time in a quarter of a century that blood-red Alabama elected a Democrat to the Senate.
Despite the lawsuit, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill told the Associated Press Wednesday evening that he has no intention of delaying the canvassing board meeting.
“It is not going to delay certification and Doug Jones will be certified (Thursday) at 1 p.m. and he will be sworn in by Vice President Pence on the third of January," Merrill said.
Moore is a fundamentalist Christian who’s said that “God’s word” takes precedence over the U.S. Constitution. He was twice removed from his position as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for refusing to follow the law, including the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage.
During the campaign, Moore was hit by multiple and credible accusations from women who said he’d assaulted them or made unwanted sexual advances toward them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.
Moore has denied the charges and waged something of a public-relations campaign to deflect the charges and delegitimize the election results. Last weekend, he smeared Jones for having a gay son.
Moore’s son, Caleb Moore, has been arrested nine times on charges including drug possession, driving while drunk and criminal trespassing; but Jones did not bring that up during the campaign.
Caleb Moore has never served time or even completed a drug rehabilitation program. Critics attribute the preferential treatment to Moore flexing his political muscle.
Moore has tried to turn the election’s outcome into a battle between God and Satan.
“We are indeed in a struggle to preserve our republic, our civilization, and our religion and to set free a suffering humanity,” he said. “Today we no longer recognize the universal truth that God is the author of our life and liberty. Abortion, sodomy, and materialism have taken the place of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Jones won the special election to fill the seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, who was named attorney general by Donald Trump. Jones won by more than 2 percent of the vote — too large a margin to trigger a recount under state law.