Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Roy Moore speaks about the race against his Democratic opponent Doug Jones during his election night party in the RSA Activity Center on December 12, 2017 in Montgomery, Alabama. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

With 'Baseless' Voter Fraud Claim, Roy Moore Challenges Alabama Election Loss

"This entire lawsuit is a taste of what Trump and Kobach's rhetoric and conspiracies lead to, and potentially a preview of what could follow if Trump loses in November 2020."

Jake Johnson, staff writer

Just days after sharing an article from a right-wing website that blamed a "coalition of Muslim and Marxist-led groups" for his loss in Alabama's Senate election, Republican and accused child molester Roy Moore made his denial official late Wednesday night by filing a legal challenge alleging that he was the victim of widespread voter fraud.

The complaint comes just hours before Alabama officials are scheduled to certify the election results, which had Democrat Doug Jones winning by more than 20,000 votes.

At the center of Moore's challenge is the claim that "anomalous" high voter turnout in Jefferson County—where 43 percent of the population is black—constitutes evidence of voter fraud. But as analyst Daniel Nichanian noted, Moore's assertion that Jefferson Country turnout was unusually high is based on a "vast underestimation" of turnout from Alabama's Republican Secretary of State, John Merrill.

Merrill's prediction placed expected turnout in Jefferson County at 25 percent, "an implausibly low number he justified by citing low energy he saw while traveling," Nichanian writes. (Actual turnout was 47 percent.)

In effect, Nichanian concludes, "Moore cites high turnout in a county that's far higher-than-average African-American (a pattern that's not exceptional and is documented throughout state) as evidence of fraud. African Americans voting is apparently inherently suspicious."

On top of claiming that black Alabamians turning out to vote against a candidate who expressed nostalgia for the days of slavery is somehow inherently suspicious, the Moore campaign also cited a widely circulated YouTube video as proof that out-of-state voters propelled his Democratic opponent to victory.

Moore's challenge also quotes a poll worker who said she witnessed a large number of people voting with out-of-state drivers' licenses. (Alabama law allows voters to use photo identification from any state.)

In crying "voter fraud" and refusing to concede defeat, Moore is taking a page straight from President Donald Trump's playbook. Trump repeatedly claimed following last year's presidential election that he would have won the popular vote if it wasn't for millions of "illegal votes."

"This entire lawsuit is a taste of what Trump and [Kansas Secretary of State Kris] Kobach's rhetoric and conspiracies lead to, and potentially a preview of what could follow if Trump loses in November 2020," Nichanian concluded.

In a CNN interview on Thursday, Alabama Secretary of State Merrill—whose office has found "no evidence" of voter fraud—insisted that Moore's challenge would not effect Jones's certification.

"Doug Jones will be certified today," Merrill concluded.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We need your help.

Support progressive journalism.

Common Dreams is not your average news site. We don't survive on clicks or advertising dollars. We rely entirely on your support. And without it, our independent progressive journalism simply wouldn’t exist. Every gift of every amount matters.

Join the fight and support our common dreams today.

NYC Mayoral Candidate Eric Adams Rebuked for 'Dangerous' 400-Students-to-1-Teacher Theory

"Defunding schools to the point that we have a 400:1 student-to-teacher ratio so we can bankroll another huge expansion in an already-multibillion dollar police budget," said Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, "is how you build a school-to-prison pipeline."

Jon Queally, staff writer ·


Lack of Patent Waiver Would Add Over $70 Billion to Cost of Vaccinating World: Oxfam

Most of that money, said a spokesperson for the group, "will go directly into the pockets" of Big Pharma shareholders.

Jon Queally, staff writer ·


Darnella Frazier Receives Pulitzer Special Citation 'for Courageously Recording the Murder of George Floyd'

"Without Darnella, Derek Chauvin never would have been tried and George Floyd would have been blamed by the state for his own death."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


'We Are Sounding the Alarm': Global Left Warns Right-Wing Fujimori Trying to Steal Election in Peru

"Fujimori’s only way forward to victory is simple: annul tens of thousands of already tallied votes," warned Progressive International. "Powerful forces are organizing to deliver this outcome."

Andrea Germanos, staff writer ·


'Climate Denial Masquerading as Bipartisanship': Progressives Reject Latest Infrastructure Compromise

"Refusing to act on climate means selling out future generations. The future of our planet and the health of our communities are non-negotiable."

Jake Johnson, staff writer ·