[Ed. – Much as we’d all love to put this one behind us, it does seem that there may be legitimate reasons to challenge the election results. Moore isn’t just looking at reports of fraud and balloting problems (plus institutional bias?), but at the possibility of an extremely narrow margin of victory for Jones when the count is complete. The dismissiveness with which the GOP leadership is treating this is a veritable pageant of the predictable — it only makes the Deplorables more determined, to see that no one wants to give them a fair shake under any circumstances.]
Moore and his campaign are holding out hope as the final ballots are cast in case the margin dips to 0.5 percent or below, triggering an automatic recount.
It’s unclear whether that will come to pass, as Jones led Moore by 1.5 points into late Tuesday night. But it’s clear that no winner will be certified until at least Christmas.
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill told reporters during an impromptu Tuesday night press conference in his state capitol office that the state will direct counties to count provisional ballots, absentee ballots and military ballots.
Those final numbers will be due to Merrill’s office by Dec. 22, after which the results will be certified sometime between Dec. 26 and Jan. 3 of next year.