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6:44 PM Fri, July 20th

Roy Moore files lawsuit to block Alabama Senate result

FILE- In this Dec. 11, 2017, file photo, U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at a campaign rally in Midland City, Ala. Moore is going to court to try to stop Alabama from certifying Democrat Doug Jones as the winner of the U.S. Senate race. Moore filed a lawsuit Wednesday evening, Dec. 27, 2017, in Montgomery Circuit Court. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

FILE- In this Dec. 11, 2017, file photo, U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at a campaign rally in Midland City, Ala. Moore is going to court to try to stop Alabama from certifying Democrat Doug Jones as the winner of the U.S. Senate race. Moore filed a lawsuit Wednesday evening, Dec. 27, 2017, in Montgomery Circuit Court. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

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FILE - In this Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017 file photo, Democrat Doug Jones speaks in Birmingham, Ala. Roy Moore is going to court to try to stop Alabama from certifying Jones as the winner of the U.S. Senate race. Moore filed a lawsuit Wednesday evening, Dec. 27, 2017, in Montgomery Circuit Court. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Refusing to concede, failed candidate Roy Moore has doubled down on his claims of voter irregularities in Alabama's U.S. Senate race in a last-ditch effort to stop the certification of the Democratic opponent who pulled off a historic upset last month in a traditionally deep-red state.

Moore asked a judge late Wednesday to issue a restraining order to stop the state's canvassing board from certifying Doug Jones' victory on Thursday. But Secretary of State John Merrill told The Associated Press that Moore's action "is not going to delay certification and Doug Jones ... will be sworn in by Vice President Pence on the third of January."

Jones defeated Moore by about 20,000 votes in the Dec. 12 special election. Moore's attorney wrote in the wide-ranging complaint that he believed there were irregularities during the election, including that voters may have been brought in from other states. He attached a statement from a poll worker that she had noticed licenses from Georgia and North Carolina as people signed in to vote.

The complaint also noted the higher-than-expected turnout in the race, particularly in Jefferson County, and said that Moore's numbers were lower than straight-ticket Republican voting in about 20 Jefferson County precincts. The complaint asks for 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.

Merrill said he has so far not found any evidence of voter fraud, but he has said that his office will investigate any complaint Moore submits.

Moore's campaign was deeply wounded by accusations of sexual misconduct involving teenage girls decades ago. Moore has denied the misconduct accusations and says he has taken and passed a polygraph test to prove they are false.

Moore has sent several fundraising emails to supporters asking for donations to investigate claims of voter fraud.

Jones and Moore were competing to fill the U.S. Senate seat that previously belonged to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.