MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA —
A December 12 special election in the southern U.S. state of Alabama has the whole country talking.
Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones are vying for a seat in the U.S. Senate, in a race that has far-reaching consequences for the nation.
Whoever wins will not only go to Washington, but they could change the balance of power in the Senate. A win for Moore would mean Republicans would have a tighter grip.
But if Jones triumphs -- Democrats could feel emboldened... and pose a greater challenge for the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.
“We don’t need a liberal person in there. A democrat,"President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House.
In a deeply conservative state like Alabama, Roy Moore would seem the obvious choice. But allegations of sexual misconduct are overshadowing his candidacy. Multiple woman have accused Moore of coming onto them as teenagers.
One woman claims Moore groped her forty years ago while he was driving her home from work. She says she was 16 at the time.
“I was terrified. He was also trying to pull my shirt off. I thought he was going to rape me," accuser Beverly Young Nelson said during a press conference.
Moore denies the charges and says they're meant to discredit his campaign.
“These allegations are completely false. They're malicious. Specifically, I do not know any of these women and I’ve never engaged in sexual misconduct with anyone," he said.
Despite this, many voters are undeterred -- Casting doubt on the allegations against him.
"These allegations are totally false. I know the man. I know what he stands for,"insisted voter David Ray.
“We live by the system, innocent until proven guilty. So, I feel like we’ve started a bad pattern with a lot of people getting accused and accused of things that happen 20-30 years ago," voter Tonya Jenkins said.
But others feel differently, determined to see Jones take office.
“I think it would be a disgrace for the state of Alabama to have a national representative like Roy Moore. It would be bad for the country, bad for the state," voter Harry Truslow told VOA.
Lawmakers say if Moore wins, he’ll face an ethics investigation in the U.S. Senate.
But whether or not he gets to that point – Is for Alabamians to decide.
While the rest of the country anxiously watches.