Four days after losing Alabama's special Senate election, Republican nominee Roy Moore has yet to concede the race to Democrat Doug Jones -- even after President Donald Trump said he should.
Moore told supporters in an email Friday that the "battle is not over" in the Senate race, asking for contributions to his "election integrity fund" so he can investigate reports of voter fraud.
Moore told supporters that the race was "close" and that some military and provisional ballots had yet to be counted. Those are expected to be counted next week.
Moore said his campaign is collecting "numerous reported cases of voter fraud" to send to the state secretary of state's office, though Secretary of State John Merrill has said it is unlikely that the last-minute ballots will change the outcome of the election or even trigger a recount.
Merrill said his office has investigated reports of voting irregularities, but "we have not discovered any that have been proven factual in nature."
Earlier Friday, Trump called on Moore to concede.
"I would certainly say he should" concede defeat, Trump told reporters before boarding Marine One to fly to the FBI academy in Quantico, Va.
Trump, who backed Moore during the campaign, already called Jones to congratulate him on his victory in the Tuesday election.
A day earlier, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "I think the president's position is pretty clear in his outreach to Doug Jones directly. He likes Doug Jones and looks forward to meeting him in person, and hopes that he will come and follow through on his commitment to work with the president on some things that they agree on."
Moore had already suggested on election night that the race would go to a recount when, in an online video Wednesday, he asserted that late-counted ballots could change the results of the election.
Moore, who lost by 20,715 votes, is not in a position to ask for a recount. Alabama law does not trigger a recount unless the margin between two candidates is less than 0.5 percent; according to the latest count by The Associated Press, the margin between Jones and Moore is 1.5 percent.
Since Tuesday night, Moore has received no official support from his party. The Republican Party of Alabama, which stood by Moore when national Republicans abandoned him, congratulated Jones on Wednesday. Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., who lost a bitter primary to Moore, also congratulated Jones "on a well-earned victory."
In a Wednesday interview with AL.com, Jones said he had already had warm conversations with future Senate colleagues, and was looking at hiring a staff composed of "the best and the brightest."
Information for this article was contributed by Arit John of Bloomberg News.
A Section on 12/16/2017
Print Headline: Moore seeks funds for voter fraud probe