MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Democrat Doug Jones has been officially certified as the winner of Alabama's special election to fill a U.S. Senate seat.
The certification happened at 1:10 p.m. in a ceremony with Gov. Kay Ivey, Secretary of State John Merrill and Attorney General Steve Marshal each signing certification documents.
Merrill says Jones will be sworn in on Jan. 3.
Jones issued a statement after his win became official. It reads:
The official vote total for the Dec. 12 election was 1,348,720, which Merrill said: "broke every record in the history of the state for a special election."
Jones received 49.97 percent (673,896 votes) to Moore's 48.34 percent (651,972 votes). A total of 22,852 votes were for write-in candidates for a total of 1.69 percent of the ballots cast.
Jones' GOP opponent, Roy Moore, never conceded and released this statement about the certification Thursday afternoon:
The certification happened shortly after a failed 11th-hour court filing by Moore to halt the certification process. Late Wednesday, Moore filed a lawsuit to try and stop Merrill from certifying Jones as the winner.
Moore's attorney wrote a wide-ranging complaint suggesting "irregularities" during the election and asked for a fraud investigation and eventually a new election.
Thursday morning, Jones filed a motion to dismiss Moore's lawsuit. In the motion to dismiss, one of Jones' attorneys said they move to "dismiss this case in its entirety in that there is a lack of subject matter jurisdiction; fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; and/or has no basis in law."
Court documents indicate Montgomery Circuit Judge Johnny Hardwick denied Moore's attempt to stop the certification citing that the court did not have jurisdiction to hear the case.
A spokesperson for Jones called Moore's action a "desperate attempt to subvert the will of the people," according to the Associated Press.
Merrill said he was "extraordinarily confident" that the Senate election was very professional, competent and a direct yield to the results of how the people voted.
Jones is the first Democrat elected to the U.S. Senate in Alabama in 25 years.