Former Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore filed a lawsuit on Wednesday night contesting the outcome of the state’s special election.
The suit was filed in Montgomery Circuit Court less than a day before the state will officially declare Moore’s opponent the winner. Moore wants the state to launch a fraud investigation and hold a new election.
Moore lost the Dec. 12th contest to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ vacated Senate seat to Democratic candidate Doug Jones. During the contentious campaign, the former judge faced accusations of sexual harassment and misconduct from multiple women who claimed he preyed on them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.
Moore, who was twice removed from the Alabama Supreme Court for failure to follow judicial orders, largely disappeared from the campaign trail in the days leading up to the election.
Although the Republican National Committee originally withdrew its official support of Moore, the party decided to once again fund his campaign after President Donald Trump officially endorsed him.
Still, Moore’s critics urged voters to choose someone else. Just before the election, Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby (R) announced that he did not vote for Moore.
“I’d rather see the Republican win, but I’d rather see a Republican write-in,” Shelby told CNN’s Jake Tapper about the vote he cast two days before the special election.
Jones, a civil rights advocate and former prosecutor, won the race by about 20,000 votes, a result Moore still has not accepted. Following the stunning victory, Jones became Alabama’s first Democratic senator in 25 years.
Moore’s attorney wrote in the complaint filed late Wednesday that he believed there were irregularities during the election and said there should be a fraud investigation and eventually a new election.
“This is not a Republican or Democrat issue as election integrity should matter to everyone,” Moore said in a statement released Wednesday announcing the complaint.
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill told The Associated Press Wednesday evening that he has no intention of delaying the canvassing board meeting.
In the complaint, Moore’s attorneys noted the higher than expected turnout in the race, particularly in Jefferson County, and said that Moore’s numbers were suspiciously low in about 20 Jefferson County precincts.
Merrill said he has so far not found evidence of voter fraud, but that his office will investigate any complaint that Moore submits.
Moore has not conceded the race to Jones and has sent several fundraising emails to supporters asking for donations to investigate claims of voter fraud.