Frank Brown Recreational Center

Voters line up at Frank Brown Recreational Center on Tuesday

Democrat Doug Jones stood on the dais amid a throng of supporters, including former Auburn basketball great Charles Barkley, and celebrated his stunning upset of Roy Moore in Tuesday's special election to fill the Alabama U.S. Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Session. 

And the celebration lasted late into night. 

"Alabama has been at a crossroads. We have been at a crossroads in the past," said Jones. "And unfortunately, we have usually taken the wrong fork. Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, you took the right road."

Jones defeated Moore by winning 49.9 percent of the vote to Moore's 48.4 percent. Write-in votes also played a crucial role, with 22,819 voters, or 1.7 percent, filling in the blank instead of voting for a party's candidate. 

Jones also carried Lee County, where he won an astounding 57.4 percent of the vote, with Moore getting 40.6 percent and 1.9 percent of voters casting write-ins. 

The results won't be certified until later this month after overseas and provisional ballots are counted. 

For now, Jones' 1.5 percent margin of victory is not small enough to trigger an automatic recount under Alabama law, which sets the bar at 0.5 percent. 

Moore refused to concede the election on Tuesday night and signaled that he wanted a recount. 

After certification, if Jones still maintains a winning margin of more than 0.5 percent, Moore would have to post a bond to pay for a recount. The state of Alabama would cover the expenses if the result were to be overturned. 

As expected, the turnout was far less in Lee County than the presidential election in 2016, when more than 57,000 voters came to the polls. About 35,000 Lee County residents voted on Tuesday. 

Still, the voter turnout for a special election exceeded expectations. 

Despite defeating Moore in what was a heated and, oftentimes, chaotic race that included charges of sexual conduct against the former judge, Jones reiterated his desire to reach across the aisle.

"I have always believed that people of Alabama have more in common than to divide us," he said. "This campaign has been about common courtesy and decency, and making sure everyone in this state, regardless of which ZIP code you live in, is going to get a fair shake in life."

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