Mediocre white male and alleged pedophile Roy Moore filed a lawsuit late last night seeking to void the results of the Dec. 12 special election and force the state of Alabama to hold a new ballot.
The last-minute gambit will not succeed in stopping the process. “Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill told The Associated Press Wednesday evening that he has no intention of delaying the canvassing board meeting” this afternoon, they report.
Attorneys working for Moore say that because overall turnout was higher than expected in mostly-black Jefferson County, while his own numbers were “suspiciously low” in some 20 precincts, the entire result should be invalidated and a new election held.
But the lawsuit “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 told the AP.
Democrat Doug Jones defeated Moore by over 20,000 votes, a margin too big for an automatic recount. But Moore has never conceded the race, choosing instead to fuel dubious right wing denials of the result with specious claims of election fraud.
In Moore’s fundraising emails since the vote, he has asked for contributions to an “election integrity fund” that will uncover “voter fraud and other irregularities at polling locations throughout the state.”
No such activity has been documented in the three weeks since the election. Nevertheless, unsubstantiated allegations have centered on very high African American turnout. Black voters overwhelmingly chose Jones over Moore.
Perhaps it is not surprising that Roy Moore, who has close ties to some of the most ardent neo-Confederates in Alabama, would try to discredit black voters. But he does have some interesting allies in his fight.
“This is not a Republican or Democrat [sic] issue as election integrity should matter to everyone,” Moore said in a statement Wednesday night. Indeed, judging by Twitter, the folks most concerned with weak allegations of vote fraud in Alabama all work for the Russian bot farm in Saint Petersburg.
Moore had been favored to win the race. But his shambolic campaigning style, and a series of Washington Post stories about his past courtship of underage girls, reduced Moore’s turnout and sent many suburban voters swinging back to a Democrat for the first time in decades.
During November, Moore repeatedly vowed to sue the Post and news site AL.com along with his accusers. But that lawsuit has yet to materialize, while corroborating evidence has continued to accumulate. There are good reasons to expect Moore will never, ever follow through on his threats.
Jones ran a very strong campaign. He outspent Moore 6-1 or better on television and radio. Informal counts show that he posted at least double the number of yard signs compared to his opponent. By comparison, Moore was rarely even seen in public during the closing days of the race.
The Jones campaign also poured resources into getting out the black vote in places like Jefferson County. His success has brought renewed Democratic focus on turning out voters of color, especially women, to win races in the South.
Those are the exact votes that Roy Moore and his ideological allies want discounted. You can see why they would have a hard time accepting such a defeat. After all, if Alabama is no longer a “safe space” for bible-thumping white men to run for office, the Republican Party is in serious trouble.
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