An Alabama state judge threw out Roy Moore’s attempt to halt the certification of the election of Doug Jones to the Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Moore’s lawsuit relied upon “expert testimony” from a Florida-based elections analyst.
The Special Election
On December 12, 2017, Alabama held a special election for its vacant Senate seat. Republican Ray Moore lost the election to Democrat Doug Jones with Jones receiving 49.9 percent of the vote to Moore’s 48.4 percent. The difference was 1.54 percent or 20,715 votes. Moore was widely expected to win the election until allegations of sexual misconduct with underage girls emerged late in the campaign. Moore denied all of the allegations against him and refused to concede the election.
Moore filed a complaint in state court, seeking a temporary restraining order preventing Jones from being certified as the state’s election winner. Moore argued that if Jones is certified, he would “suffer irreparable harm” and be “denied his full right as a candidate to a fair election.” Moore claimed that he lost because of voting irregularities and election fraud and requested that “Secretary of State [John] Merrill to delay certification until there is a thorough investigation of what three independent election experts agree took place: election fraud sufficient to overturn the outcome of the election.”
Moore argued that out-of-state residents had been allowed to vote in the election and that election fraud experts had concluded through statistical analysis that fraud had taken place. Moore alleged that there was “anomalous” higher voter turnout in Jefferson County, where 43% of the population is black. Jefferson County had a 47% voter turnout. Moore claimed that multiple out-of-state identifications were presented at voting places and pointed to a video interview from Jones’ victory party where a Jones supporter stated, “We came here all the way from different parts of the country as part of our fellowship, and all of us pitched in to vote and canvas together, and we got our boy elected!”
Moore stated that he took a polygraph test over the sexual misconduct allegations and that “the results of the examination reflected that I did not know, nor had I ever had any sexual contact with any of these individuals” and that the allegations were “false and malicious attacks on my character.”
One of Moore’s expert witnesses was Richard Charnin, a Florida-based elections analyst who claims three degrees in applied mathematics. Charnin is prominent among believers that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated as part of a conspiracy and previously alleged that mass election fraud stole key Democratic primaries from Bernie Sanders to benefit Hillary Clinton. Charnin opined that the probability that the election results are accurate was “less than one in 15 billion” and wrote that there was “overwhelmingly statistical proof of fraud in Jefferson County.”
Alabama Circuit Judge Johnny Hardwick denied Moore’s request for a temporary restraining order and Doug Jones was certified as the winner of the election by the Alabama State Canvassing Board.