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Senate special election recount could cost $1.5 million

An Alabama US Senate special election recount could cost more than $1.5 million.

Posted: Dec. 13, 2017 5:09 PM
Updated: Dec. 13, 2017 10:37 PM

Roy Moore's campaign said he has not conceded the race because they are waiting on military ballots to be counted.

The only way an automatic recount can happen is if Jones' margin of victory ends up being within 0.5% of each other once all of the votes are tabulated.

If a recount does happen it could cost taxpayers around $1.5 million, if not more, according to the Secretary of State's office.

If an automatic recount does not happen, Moore's camp can call for the votes to be counted, but they would have to pay for that out of pocket. WAAY 31 has contacted Moore's campaign to see if they planned to pay for a recount. We have not heard back from them.

"I don't think there should be a recount. I think the election went the right way. I think it sent a big message to how the future is going to be," said voter Haleigh Hodges.

Hodges said she was ecstatic when Doug Jones pulled off a historic win, but his victory could also mark the first time write-in votes will actually be counted statewide.

"It's obviously an extra thing we will have to do, but I don't believe it will be overly burdensome," said Lauderdale County Probate Judge, Will Motlow.

Normally write-in votes are never counted, unless the margin of victory between the two candidates is less than the number of write-in ballots cast. Motlow believes the Secretary of States Office will ask all probate judges statewide to hand count each write- in. Motlow said if they do count the some 300 write-in ballots they had in Lauderdale County he might bring in some poll workers to help.

"To simply to count the write-ins, I don't think will cost us much money, if any at all," said Motlow.

Motlow says if you wrote in a fictional character like Mickey Mouse, your vote will be disqualified from the actual tally. Some voters told WAAY 31 they don't think the write-in votes will affect the outcome of the election.

"There is no way that will make a difference there," said Shoals voter, Chad Etheredge. "I was pretty excited to see a Democratic senator be elected from the state for the first time in 20 years,"

The Secretary of State's office will make the decision at the end of the week on whether or not write-in votes will be counted.

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