- REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
- Roy Moore refused to concede the Alabama Senate race to Doug Jones on Tuesday night.
- Alabama’s secretary of state suggested a recount would be unlikely to change the result.
Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore on Tuesday refused to concede the race to Democrat Doug Jones, suggesting he would wait for a recount despite preliminary results indicating he would lose the contest by an amount greater than the margin that would trigger such a process.
“Realize when the vote is this close, it’s not over,” Moore said. “And we still got to go by the rules about this recount provision.”
“It’s not over and it’s going to take some time,” he added at the end of his speech.
Moore alluded to numerous accusations of sexual harassment leveled against his campaign.
“Part of the problem with this campaign is we’ve been painted in an unfavorable and unfaithful light,” Moore said.
Alabama state law stipulates that a recount is automatically triggered if there is less than a 0.5 percentage-point difference between the candidates. Around midnight ET on Wednesday, Jones appeared to have a lead of 1.5 points with 99% of precincts reporting.
However, candidates of either party could request a recount if they were willing to pay for the recount election.
In a series of interviews, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill suggested that a recount would be unlikely to change the results.
Despite the Moore campaign’s refusal to concede, Sec. of State John Merrill tells @jaketapper it’s “highly unlikely” there will be any outcome other than Doug Jones winning.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) December 13, 2017
“The people of Alabama have spoken tonight. They’ve made their voice heard loud and clear,” Merrill said.
Alabama Republicans also strongly suggested that Moore concede to Jones.
“While we are deeply disappointed in the extremely close US Senate election results, with our candidate Judge Roy Moore, we respect the voting process given to us by our founding fathers,” the Alabama Republican Party said in a statement.
For his part, Jones declared victory in a speech.
“I have always believed that the people of Alabama have more in common than what divide us,” Jones said. “We have shown the country the way that we can be unified.”