Twenty-four hours after Democrat Doug Jones claimed an upset victory in Alabama’s senatorial election, controversial candidate Roy Moore is refusing to concede the race.
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Moore released a video on Wednesday night, saying “the battle rages on,” and vowing every ballot should be counted.
“In this race, we have not received the final count to include military and provisional ballots,” Moore said in the video. “This has been a very close race — and we are awaiting certification by the secretary of state.”
Alabama’s Secretary of State John Merrill stood by comments he made election night in an interview with ABC News’ Tom Llamas on Wednesday, saying an automatic recount is “highly unlikely.” Merrill believes Jones’ margin of victory will not dip below 0.5 percent, which would trigger an automatic recount. A spokesperson for Merrill said the state had a “free, fair and safe elections process,” even calling it “perfect and seamless.”
Jones spoke to reporters in Birmingham on Wednesday afternoon and said he’d leave it up to Moore to choose to concede.
“I’m going to leave that to him,” Jones said. “I think that as most people, including the president, believe that the people of Alabama spoke, and after elections it’s a time for healing, it’s a time for reaching out.”
Jones also told Moore to “do the right thing” in regard to conceding later in the press conference.
The Moore statement, filmed in front of an American flag and Christmas tree, runs just under five minutes long. It touches on many of the topics Moore made a hallmark of his conservative campaign — religion, abortion, immigration, the Constitution and the definition of marriage.
Moore also briefly alludes to the allegations of sexual misconduct against him made by multiple women, though not explicitly, saying the claims against him have been a sign of…