Dec. 15 (UPI) -- A recount in the Alabama senatorial election could cost more than $1 million, the state's secretary of state said.
A decision on whether to conduct a recount is expected to be made after the totals are certified, a date sometime between Dec. 26, and Jan. 3, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said. If counts of military and provisional ballots indicate a one-half of 1 percent or less difference between candidates Doug Jones and Roy Moore, an automatic recount will be triggered unless it is waived by the losing candidate.
Jones defeated Moore on Tuesday by about 20,000 votes in which more than 1.3 million votes were cast. Moore, a Republican, had the endorsement of President Donald Trump in an interest in maintaining the Republican seat vacated by Sen. Jeff Sessions' nomination as attorney general. Moore has not conceded the election.
Trump recommended on Friday that Moore abandon hope.
"I think he should [concede]. He tried. I want to support, always, I want to support the person running. We need the seat, we'd like to have the seat. As far as Roy Moore, yeah, it's -- I would certainly say he should," Trump told reporters.
Alabama law also specifies that in certain circumstances, a losing candidate could request a recount, but Merrill said that it is unlikely that any as-yet uncounted ballots would push Moore to victory. If Moore requests a recount, it would be at his campaign's expense, with the necessary funding advanced before the recount takes place. Merrill estimated the cost of a recount at more than $1 million.