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Republican Roy Moore refuses to concede, says "wait on God and let this process play out”

But the Alabama secretary of state said it’s “highly unlikely” the outcome will change.

Alabama GOP Senate Candidate Roy Moore Holds Election Night Watch Party Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Jen Kirby is a senior foreign and national security reporter at Vox, where she covers global instability.

Republican Roy Moore has refused to concede the Alabama Senate special election, telling his supporters to realize “when the vote is this close that it's not over.”

Moore was at least 20,000 votes behind Jones by the end of Tuesday evening, and multiple news outlets called the election for Jones shortly before 10:30 pm Eastern time.

Moore implied that there would be a recount, though it’s not clear exactly what that process entails — or if there will even be one. An automatic recount is only triggered under state law when final vote counts are within half a percentage point.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill told CNN that it was “highly unlikely” the outcome of the race would change. "There's not a whole lot of mistakes that are made," he said.

Moore, of course, didn’t let any of these facts stand in his way.

“We also know that God is always in control,” he said during his election night speech, and then launched into criticism of the media for the way he was portrayed during the campaign. Moore was plagued by sexual misconduct allegations during the election, including the account of one woman who said Moore groped her when she was a 14-year-old minor and he was 32.

“You know, part of the thing — part of the problem with this campaign is we've been painted in an unfavorable and unfaithful light,” Moore told his supporters. “We've been put in a hole, if you will.”

Moore said it reminded him of a passage in Psalms 40:

I waited patiently for the Lord. He inclined to me, heard my cry, brought us out of a horrible pit out of clay and set me feet on the rock and established my goings and put a new song in our mouth. Praise to our God. Many shall see it and hear it and shall be moved by that, if you will.

“That's what we've got to do,” Moore finished, “is wait on God and let this process play out.”

*Moore’s speech has been updated to correct a transcription error.

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