Last uncounted ballots: Moore can’t close 20,000-vote loss

  • AP Photo/Brynn Anderson Provisional ballots in boxes are stacked before members of the Shelby County probate office count the voted ballots from last week’s U.S. Senate election at the Shelby County court house, Tuesday in Columbiana, Ala. Secretary of State John Merrill says the outcome isn’t expected to change. Merrill announced Monday, Dec. 18, 2017, that counties will check write-in votes under a new state law that only requires poll workers to sort through them if the number of write-ins is higher than the winner’s margin of victory. There were 22,814 write-ins.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Republican Roy Moore and hasn’t conceded his 20,000-vote loss to Democrat Doug Jones in Alabama’s Senate race, and provisional ballots and military votes totals announced Wednesday aren’t enough for Moore to close the deficit.

Jones beat Moore on Dec. 12 to become the first Democrat elected to the Senate from Alabama in a quarter-century. Moore was beset by allegations of sexual misconduct involving teenage girls decades ago.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill announced Wednesday that a total of 366 military ballots were returned from overseas and 4,967 provisional ballots were cast. Even if all of those votes went to Moore, that is well short of the 20,000-vote deficit that Moore would need to close the gap. It also would not be enough to trigger an automatic recount.

“No additional ballots are eligible to be received,” Merrill’s office said.

Moore had laid some of his hopes on the military and provisional ballots in a Dec. 15 email to supporters, writing that those were yet to be counted and the election was “too close to call” and “the battle is NOT OVER!”

A telephone and email message to Moore’s campaign was not immediately returned Wednesday.

Counties on Friday will submit the tallies for 22,780 write-in votes cast on Dec. 12. However, most of those are expected to go to other people and not Jones and Moore, whose names were on the ballot.

Moore has sent out subsequent emails asking for donations to help investigate what he called reports of voter fraud and other irregularities” at the polls.

Alabama will certify the election result between Dec. 26 and Jan. 3.

Speaking at a Dec. 13 press conference in Birmingham, Jones said it was time for Moore to “do the right thing” and concede.

“It’s time to move on. It’s time to heal,” Jones said.

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