Citing cranks, Moore claims voter fraud, to no avail

This post has been updated

Roy Moore is still fighting the results of the Alabama Senate election, claiming in a new lawsuit that illegal voting could have cost him a victory. But the so-called experts he’s citing don’t inspire confidence.

And on Thursday, his effort failed when a judge rejected the suit and Democrat Doug Jones was certified as the election’s winner (see update below).

But Moore’s futile stand highlights how conservatives have turned the notion of “election integrity” into a political weapon.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday night, Moore’s campaign disputed the results of the December 12 election, which Jones won by over 21,000 votes. The complaint argues, essentially, that Moore did so badly in 20 precincts in Jefferson County, a Jones strong-hold, that the results must have been manipulated.

“This is not a Republican or Democrat issue as election integrity should matter to everyone,” Moore (pictured) said in a statement. “We call on Secretary of State (John) Merrill to delay certification until there is a thorough investigation of what three independent election experts agree took place: election fraud sufficient to overturn the outcome of the election.”

Moore significantly underperformed other recent Alabama Republican candidates across the state, likely because several women credibly accused him of trying to have sex with them, or date them, when they were legally underage and he was in his 30s.

The Moore complaint also cites a comment made in a viral video by an excited Jones supporter on election night, who said that Jones supporters had come from “different parts of the country” and had all “pitched in to vote.” Merrill, the secretary of state, investigated and found the man was a legal Alabama voter, but the complaint says Merrill didn’t investigate whether other people who came from out of state voted. There’s no evidence they did.

Despite the importance of the race nationally, no mainstream Republican election lawyers are backing Moore’s claims. Instead, the three experts cited in the complaint are essentially cranks.

One is James Condit Jr., a far-right extremist who has trafficked in anti-semitic conspiracy theories about Jewish world-domination. Another, Richard Charnin, argues in a self-published book that President Donald Trump won the popular vote last year if you exclude millions of fraudulent votes, and has claimed that statistics prove a conspiracy behind JFK’s assassination. The third, Phil Evans, has contended that in the 2012 GOP presidential primary, a large number of Ron Paul’s votes were stolen by election administrators and given to Mitt Romney, and that the results of that contest were “predetermined” and “created through vote tabulation manipulation.”

Late Update: A judge rejected Moore’s lawsuit “with prejudice” Thursday, and Merrill officially certified the results of the election. Still, Merrill continues to claim, apparently incorrectly, that Moore is entitled to a recount if he pays for it.

Jones is due to be sworn in as a senator January 3.

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