The man, who was not identified by Merrill’s office, became the focus of a popular conspiracy theory after Republican nominee Roy Moore refused to concede the Dec. 12 election. In its election night coverage, Birmingham-based Fox 10 captured the man celebrating with friends and waving a Doug Jones sign.
“We came here all the way from different parts of the country as part of our fellowship, and all of us pitched in to vote and canvas together, and we got our boy elected,” he said.
After Jones’s victory was confirmed, clips from the Fox 10 broadcast circulated widely in fringe conservative media. Infowars, a conspiracy-focused news site founded by Alex Jones, posted the clip on Dec. 14, speculating the unidentified man had admitted to voter fraud.
“It’s unclear whether the individual is referring to people being transported in to campaign for Jones or to actually vote for him, which would be illegal,” wrote Infowars pundit Paul Joseph Watson.
After the clip went viral, at least one voter submitted a complaint about it to StopVoterFraudNow, a website created by Merrill’s office. On Monday, to some ridicule, Merrill began an investigation of the video clip.
“Was he just exuberant in his expression?” Merrill asked in an interview with Fox 10. “Was he overly enthusiastic about what was going on? He’s a kid, probably never been on TV before. If he had, he probably hadn’t been on more than a couple of times, probably never been on TV in a situation that was that intense with that much going on.”
Moore’s campaign posted a story about the new probe on Facebook.
Moore’s campaign has not yet commented on the news that the unidentified voter was, in fact, an Alabamian who cast a ballot legally.