Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill has found no proof of voter fraud in Alabama’s Dec. 12 special Senate race after investigating a Doug Jones supporter who made a single statement on a confusing election night news report.
Jones is the first Democratic senator Alabama has elected in 25 years, and since he bested Republican Roy Moore in the Dec. 12 election, there have been a number of allegations of potential voter fraud — several of which were quickly disproven.
Moore, who has still yet to concede the race, has also continued to stoke fears that voter fraud may have contributed to his loss, even asking supporters for $75,000 to help compile evidence of “voter fraud and other irregularities.”In particular, one video has continued to make the rounds on social media.
That clip, from a live broadcast during FOX 10’s election night report, featured a comment from an unidentified young man who left some wondering if people from outside Alabama had illegally cast votes for Jones.
Fox 10 Reporter Kati Weiss: “Why are you excited to see this victory?”
Jones Supporter: “Because we came here all the way from different parts of the country as part of our fellowship. And, all of us pitched in together to vote and canvass together, and we got our boy elected!”
Because the reporter “did not ask any further questions,” Merrill said many viewers were left questioning the validity of that young man’s vote and whether other non-Alabamians might have come into the state and fraudulently voted for Jones as well.
Merrill was criticized by many in the left-leaning press for launching a “frivolous, partisan investigation,” but the original interview has been cut and shared tens of thousands of times online — particularly in circles that support Moore and President Donald Trump.
Merrill told Lagniappe the widespread sharing of this particular video motivated his office to look into the matter more quickly, though he takes all reports of alleged voter fraud seriously.
“After additional research was conducted, it was determined that this young man has lived and worked in Alabama for more than one year and is currently a registered voter in this state,” Merrill wrote in a pres release. “We applaud this young man’s energy, excitement and enthusiasm for the electoral process. We are always encouraged when we observe Alabamians who are actively engaged in campaigns and elections in our state.”
Prior to the conclusion of this investigation, Merrill said it was unlikely any widespread voting from non-Alabamians occurred. He said trends in voter registration observed by his office were normal and expressing confidence in Alabama’s strict voter ID laws.
While this particular case appears to be cleared up, Merrill encouraged any residents with concerns over the voting process in the Dec. 12 Senate election to submit them online at www.stopvoterfraudnow.com.
The results of the election are due to be certified before Jan. 3, 2018, though Merrill said that could occur as early as Dec. 26, when the final results are submitted from each Alabama county.