Doug Jones’ win over Roy Moore is expected to be made official today when the state canvassing board meets to certify the results of the Dec. 12 special election for the U.S. Senate, despite a lawsuit by Moore seeking to delay the proceedings.
Secretary of State John Merrill said this morning on CNN that the 1 p.m. meeting of the state canvassing board will be held as scheduled.
“Doug Jones will be certified today at 2 p.m. eastern time, 1 p.m. central time,” Merrill told CNN. “The governor, Kay Ivey, our attorney general Steve Marshall and I will meet in the office of the secretary state, in the executive office, and we will sign the documents certifying him as the senator for the state of Alabama. He will be sworn in by Vice President Pence on the third of January when the Senate returns.”
Moore filed a lawsuit late Wednesday seeking to delay certification of the election and claiming “systematic election fraud.” Moore had previously declined to concede and has been raising money to investigate reports of voter fraud.
Back on the 24th, I explained the very limited options open to Moore. Nothing in this lawsuit changes this, other than showing how weak a claim Moore is making. It seems to boil down to: I should have won under the exit poll and all of this voting by African Americans must show fraud.
So assuming the certification goes through, what are Moore’s options? As indicated in numerous posts, Moore, as a candidate for federal office, does not seem entitled under Alabama law to file a state election contest. (The Secretary of State disagrees, though he has not explained why). He could file a complaint with the U.S. Senate, which has constitutional authority to decide these kinds of disputes, but he is unlikely to have a sympathetic audience. Or he could file a federal lawsuit making constitutional claims—though if the current lawsuit is any indication, he has no serious arguments.