Jones Wins Election; Moore Mulls Recount

Dec 13, 2017

Doug Jones celebrates his apparent victory in Alabama's U.S. Senate race.

Doug Jones won last night's special election for U.S. Senate, defeating Roy Moore by 1.5% of the vote in last night’s election. Moore’s camp, though, is looking for a possible recount.

Moore refused to concede the election last night, and told his supporters “When the vote is this close, it’s not over. We still have to go by the rules, by this recount provision.”

Under Alabama law, the vote is automatically recounted when the winner’s margin is less than half a percent. Jones’s margin is currently about three times that. For the automatic recount to take effect, ballots still not counted would have to drastically reduce Jones’s margin.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill says there are three types of votes yet to be counted that will change the totals: ballots mailed in from overseas (such as those from members of the military), provisional ballots where there is a question on whether a voter is eligible to cast a vote, and votes for write-in candidates.

The state canvassing board will determine whether an automatic recount is called for when it meets sometime between December 26 and January 3.

Merrill says Moore picking up enough extra votes to trigger a recount is extremely unlikely. And even if it does occur, Merrill doubts the recount would end up changing the election outcome.