Roy Moore's Last Gasp
A suspicious “diversion of votes” from the Republican to the Democrat. Unsecured voting machines. “Sharply and implausibly higher” turnout in a county that just so happens to have a large percentage of African American voters. An “unusual number” of out-of-state driver’s licenses pointing to widespread election fraud. Voter “intimidation” by a Democratic super PAC.
Roy Moore is alleging that all of the above occurred in Alabama earlier this month when Democrat Doug Jones defeated him by 1.5 percentage points in the state’s special Senate election—an outcome Moore believes was tainted and is possibly fraudulent. Late Wednesday, the twice-removed chief judge of Alabama filed a last minute complaint in state court to halt the certification of Jones’s win until a “meaningful investigation” of voter fraud takes place. If necessary, Moore wants the Alabama courts to order an entirely new election.
As Hail Mary’s go, this judicial pass is a wobbly one. It came the night before state officials were to meet to certify the election, and on Thursday morning, Secretary of State John Merrill—a defendant in Moore’s lawsuit—said on national television that the certification would go forward as scheduled. “Doug Jones will be certified today at 2 p.m. eastern time, 1 p.m. central time,” Merrill told CNN. The former federal prosecutor will be sworn into the Senate on January 3 when lawmakers return from their holiday recess.
Yet in its wild allegations, Moore’s long-shot legal challenge was a fitting bookend not only to a crazy, scandal-fueled campaign but to a year that began with President Trump—Moore’s erstwhile endorser—alleging that his own defeat in the national popular vote was the result of widespread fraud.