MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama election officials have certified Doug Jones as the state's next U.S. senator, leaving Republican Roy Moore with almost no options to try to block his rival's ascension to the seat.
Jones is scheduled to be sworn in on Jan. 3. He's the first Alabama Democrat to win a Senate post in 25 years.
Jones defeated Moore by 21,924 votes, but Moore has refused to concede his loss. A judge Thursday dismissed Moore's effort to block the election results from being certified by claiming voter fraud.
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said Moore has few avenues remaining. He could pay for a recount at his own expense or launch another lawsuit seeking to toss out the result. He could also ask the Senate not to seat Jones, but that is unlikely because President Donald Trump and other Republicans have said Moore should concede.