Roy Moore refused to concede the U.S. Senate race to Doug Jones on Tuesday night, saying that Alabama state law requires a recount when there is a margin of a half a percentage point or less.
“When the vote is this close, it is not over,” Moore told supporters Tuesday night.
It’s true that Alabama state law requires a recount when less than half a percentage point separates the winner and loser in an election. According to Section 17-16-20 of Alabama state law:
When, in a general election, the election returns for any public office, including a judicial office, reflect that a candidate is defeated or any ballot statewide measure is defeated by not more than one half of one percent of the votes cast for the office, or the ballot measure, as certified by the appropriate election officer, a recount shall be held unless the defeated candidate submits a written waiver for the recount…
However, as of around 11:00 CT Tuesday night. Jones led Moore by about three times the margin by which an automatic recount would be required.
Now, the Moore campaign could contest the results and pay for a recount. But the Republican Alabama Secretary of State said during an interview with CNN Tuesday night that it’s “highly unlikely” the outcome of the election would change, even with a recount.
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill tells CNN it is “highly unlikely” the outcome of the election will change: "There's not a whole lot of mistakes that are made" https://t.co/mj0qgqCW2x https://t.co/fWnGJ1VYVm
— CNN (@CNN) December 13, 2017
The Moore campaign cited the fact that not all military ballots have been counted as one reason for demanding an automatic recount. However, the Alabama secretary of state said that those votes likely would not make a difference in terms of the winner.
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