(AL.com) — Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill's office notified counties Tuesday that they must tabulate write-in votes in last week's special election for the U.S. Senate.
The notification is one step in the process of certifying vote.
State law requires counties to tabulate the write-in votes unless the number of write-ins is fewer than the deciding margin in the race.
On Tuesday, county canvassing boards will count provisional ballots and overseas ballots. Counties must publicly declare the results by noon on Friday and report them to the secretary of state.
The state canvassing board, which includes Merrill, Gov. Kay Ivey and Attorney General Steve Marshall, will certify the results no earlier than Dec. 26 and no later than Jan. 3, Secretary of State John Merrill said.