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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.

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