Alabama Sec. of State John Merrill is claiming Roy Moore can request a recount in Tuesday’s U.S. Senate race, which Moore lost by 21,000 votes. But state law appears to say otherwise. Merrill’s stance could help the GOP delay seating Democrat Doug Jones in the U.S. Senate. It’s just the latest example of the secretary of state, a Republican and Moore backer, creating serious doubts about his ability to administer the crucial race fairly. Alabama law is clear that an automatic recount must be held at the state’s expense if the margin of victory is less than 0.5 percent. Jones’s margin in his upset win was 1.5 percent. But as of Wednesday afternoon, Moore had not yet conceded the race. Despite Jones’s victory, voting advocates reported numerous problems at the polls Tuesday. They included long lines in black areas, and voters who had been placed on the “inactive” list improperly being forced to provide additional documentation.
Merrill (pictured) said on CNN late Tuesday that a recount was unlikely, and that it almost certainly wouldn’t change the result. But he also said that any candidate is entitled to a recount at his or her own expense, no matter the margin. He pointed to a recent governor’s race in which one candidate paid for a recount.
But Rick Hasen, a respected election law expert at the University of California, Irvine, wrote online that Merrill got it wrong. Citing state law, Hasen wrote that only candidates for state-level positions, not federal ones, are entitled to a recount whatever the margin.
The Alabama Law Institute’s Election Handbook appears to support Hasen.
Full Article: AL Sec. of State still sowing confusion over Jones win.