Roy Moore files lawsuit to block Doug Jones from being seated

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The state of Alabama on Thursday certified Democrat Doug Jones as the victor of this month's special Senate election after a judge denied Republican Roy Moore's effort to halt the process via a last-ditch lawsuit charging widespread voter fraud.

Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore speaks during a campaign event at Jordan's Activity Barn in Midland City, Alabama, on December 11, 2017.

"As I said on election night, our victory marks a new chapter for our state and our nation". "I will be an independent voice and work to find common ground with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle", he added. He takes over the seat previously held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The Canvassing Board, consisting of Governor Kay Ivey, Secretary of State John Merrill and Attorney General Steve Marshall - all Republicans - met on schedule and certified the election result.

Moore has sent several fundraising emails to supporters asking for donations to investigate claims of voter fraud. He asked a judge to stop the state from declaring Jones the victor. But even before the judge had dismissed the case and Jones's victory was certified, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said the complaint would have no impact on the election's result. "It's time to move on", Sam Coleman wrote in an email. He said he had no regrets.

"The people of Alabama have spoken and Moore lost".

"It 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 Associated Press of Moore's lawsuit. Moore, 651,972, 48.3 percent and write-ins, 22,852, or 1.7 percent.

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The Police Department said it was alerted and units were requested to stand by at the gate. After the discovery was made, the plane returned to the Los Angeles International Airport.

Mr Jones is a former USA attorney best known for prosecuting two Ku Klux Klansmen responsible for the infamous 1963 church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Moore campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TIME. Once was for defying a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building. Some of the allegations included saying Moore had sexually abused teenage girls.

He denies the allegations and says they are politically motivated.

If the election is prematurely certified, Mr. Moore's lawyers wrote, he will "suffer irreparable harm" and be "denied his full right as a candidate to a fair election". He attached a statement from a poll worker that she had noticed licenses from Georgia and North Carolina as people signed in to vote.

Democrat Doug Jones was formally declared the victor of the bitterly contested US Senate race in the southern state of Alabama on Thursday, whittling down the Republican majority in the chamber by a crucial seat.

Mr Moore's lawsuit alleges that there were voting irregularities in 20 precincts and calls for a fraud investigation and a new election.