MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama election officials say they've found nothing improper after investigating a TV interview that raised suspicions of voter fraud in the state's closely watched Senate election.
Democrat Doug Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore on Dec. 12 to become the first Democrat elected to the Senate from Alabama in a quarter-century. Moore was beset by accusations of sexual misconduct involving teenage girls. He has denied the allegations.
During the live, election-night broadcast, a man supporting Jones made a comment that raised some eyebrows.
"We came here all the way from different parts of the country as part of our fellowship," he said. "And, all of us pitched in to vote and canvass together, and we got our boy elected!"
The comment fueled speculation that out-of-state voters were taking part in Alabama's election.
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said Thursday that his office was able to identify the man and determine that he has lived in Alabama for more than a year and is currently a registered voter in the state.
The TV station that initially broadcast his comments did not identify the man. Nor did Merrill.
Moore has sent out emails since the election requesting donations to help investigate what he has called reports of voter fraud and other irregularities at the polls.
In announcing results of the investigation, Merrill described the video clip as "the most controversial issue regarding potential voter fraud" that has been reported to his office in the wake of the election.
Moore has not conceded his 20,000-vote loss to Jones, even though military and provisional vote totals announced this week are not enough for him to close the deficit. Moore had laid some of his hopes on those ballots in a Dec. 15 email to supporters, writing that those were yet to be counted and the election was "too close to call" and "the battle is NOT OVER!"
On Friday, Alabama counties are to submit the tallies for 22,780 write-in votes cast Dec. 12. However, most of those are expected to go to other people, not Jones and Moore.
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