Update 10:30 p.m.: Doug Jones is the winner of the special Senate election in Alabama.
The polls have closed in the most closely watched race of the year, Alabama’s special Senate election between wildly controversial Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones. Though most recent polls have shown Moore with a small lead, some have put Jones ahead, leading to widespread uncertainty about the outcome. Ultimately, the race will to come down to turnout: whether a wave of Democratic enthusiasm can carry Jones to victory in a deep-red state, or whether enough Republicans will look past allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore and cast ballots for their party.
Jones has mounted a surprisingly strong race against Moore, an extreme candidate accused of assaulting and making advances toward minors. But the Democrat will need high turnout among African American voters in order to prevail. It’s also unclear to what degree restrictive voting laws will suppress minority turnout. Moore, on the other hand, will need conservative voters to remain loyal to the Republican Party and turn out to vote in strong enough numbers to put him over the top.
You follow the election returns here as they come in, via our friends at Decision Desk HQ: