Alabama officials dismiss Moore claims of voter fraud; Jones certified as winner

Alabama’s secretary of state laughed off the assertion by Roy Moore campaign spokeswoman Janet Porter that there is an incredibly high probability there was voter fraud in the state’s special U.S. Senate election this month.

“People are entitled to their own opinion, but they are not entitled to their own facts,” Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said on CNN.

Merrill was responding to Porter’s comments in an earlier CNN interview in which she defended the Republican candidate’s 11th-hour attempt to block certification of Moore’s historic loss to Democrat Doug Jones in the traditionally deep-red state.

“Whether you’re a Republican or whether you’re a Democrat; whether you like Roy Moore or whether you like Doug Jones, you ought to care about the fact that the people of Alabama should be making that choice,” Porter said. “The chances that this was not fraud? One in 15 billion.”

Merrill said that his office has investigated each claim of voter fraud submitted by the Moore campaign and found no evidence any fraud occurred.

In one complaint, it was alleged that five busloads of African-Americans had been brought in from Mississippi to vote in Mobile, and that three vanloads of Mexicans had been arrested and incarcerated for doing so. Both allegations were investigated and dismissed, Merrill said. Another claim said that more than 5,000 people had voted in Brodalama, a town with a population of 2,200.

“That would make some sense and cause a lot of consternation — except there is no town or community in Alabama called Bordalama,” Merrill explained. “So that was completely fabricated.”

His remarks came shortly before an Alabama judge denied Moore’s lawsuit to block the state from certifying the results of the Dec. 12 special election, which Jones won by more than 20,000 votes. A four-member panel, including Merrill, certified those results Thursday afternoon. Jones will be sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence on Jan. 3.

“As I said on election night, our victory marks a new chapter for our state and the nation,” Jones said in a statement.

The Jones campaign called the Moore campaign’s lawsuit a “desperate attempt by Roy Moore to subvert the will of the people.”

“The election is over,” Jones campaign spokesman Sam Coleman said in a statement. “It’s time to move on.”

Yet Moore again refused to concede the election.

“Election fraud experts across the country have agreed that this was a fraudulent election,” Moore said in a statement after the results were certified. “I have stood for the truth about God and the Constitution for the people of Alabama. I have no regrets. To God be the glory.”

Doug Jones and his wife, Louise Jones, wave to supporters before speaking in Birmingham, Ala., at a victory party on election night. (Photo: John Bazemore/AP)
Doug Jones and his wife, Louise Jones, wave to supporters before speaking in Birmingham, Ala., at a victory party on election night. (Photo: John Bazemore/AP)

In a wide-ranging complaint filed late Wednesday night, the Moore campaign cited three “election integrity experts” who say voter fraud occurred. One of them, Richard Charnin, argued in a recent book that President Trump won the “true” vote in the 2016 presidential election (Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes) and that “historical statistical evidence is conclusive: every election is fraudulent.” In another, Charnin argues that there is scientific proof of a conspiracy surrounding President John. F. Kennedy’s assassination.

“I don’t vouch for everyone’s opinion on everything,” Porter said when asked about the theories offered in Charnin’s books.

Porter also defended Moore’s inclusion of an affidavit in the lawsuit saying he had passed polygraph test that purportedly disproves the allegations of sexual misconduct by multiple women against him. But when pressed for details about the test or the person who conducted it, Porter struggled to provide any. The affidavit was from Moore, not the unnamed polygraph expert.

“All I know is that it was a renowned independent expert,” Porter said.

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