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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – An Alabama judge has rejected Roy Moore’s attempt to stop the state from making his defeat official in Alabama’s special Senate election.

Montgomery Circuit Judge Johnny Hardwick on Thursday denied Moore’s attempt to delay the certification of votes while Moore’s claims of voting irregularities are investigated.

Moore refused to concede the race and filed a lawsuit late Wednesday night in an 11th-hour attempt to stop Alabama from certifying Jones as the winner.

Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore by about 22,000 votes on Dec. 12 and became the first Democratic Senate victory in a quarter-century in Alabama. Moore was dogged by accusations of sexual misconduct involving teenage girls that occurred decades ago.

Moore’s attorney wrote in the lawsuit that he believed there were irregularities and said there should be a fraud investigation and eventually a new election.

Alabama election officials say they found no evidence of fraud and have officially declared Jones the winner.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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