After coming up short on Election Day, Judge Roy Moore urged his supporters to keep the faith. Praying for a recount, the Republican reminded his supporters that “God is in control.” But either the Almighty just didn’t hear or the divine decided to vote Democrat in Alabama for the first in more than two decades.
The Alabama secretary of state’s office just announced that it has received 5,333 overseas and provision ballots well below the number needed to trigger a recount, let alone overcome the 20,715-vote lead of Democrat Doug Jones. It is now numerically impossible for Moore to win.
Candidates must come within 0.5 percent or less to trigger a recount according to state law, and currently, Jones is ahead of Moore by 1.5 points.
Hoping that the candidate’s Army service would play well with troops stationed overseas, the Moore campaign pinned its fate to military absentee votes. “A lot of votes are in, but they’re not all in yet,” said campaign chairman Bill Armistead. “There’s a law in Alabama that requires a recount if the vote is one half of 1 percent.”
That optimism was swiftly dashed Wednesday when the secretary of state announced that just 4,967 provisional ballots had been received and declared that “no additional ballots are eligible to be received.” Those results could be certified as early as the day after Christmas.
But there’s another chance and, judging from Moore’s character, it seems like one he would take. It’s not clear whether Moore can request a recount even if his tally remains above the 0.5 percent threshold, the Montgomery Advertiser reports. Alabama law allows losing candidates to call for a recount if they cover the cost — a provision that applies exclusively to state but not to federal offices.
Unless Moore votes suddenly fall like manna from heaven, it looks like it’s over.