Provisional voting allows a voter whose eligibility has been questioned to vote on Election Day. Provisional ballots are kept separate from other ballots and require verification by the election authority after Election Day.
Every challenged voter must be informed of the right to vote with a provisional ballot by the election judges or by posted signs in the polling place. Voters should ask for a provisional ballot if they are challenged.
When should a voter cast a provisional ballot?
- A provisional ballot must be offered to a voter when:
- Election judges have no record of the individual
- A voter's voting status has been successfully challenged
- A voter did not provide identification when registering by mail
- A court order extends the time for closing the polls.
- The voter’s name appears on the list of voters who voted during early voting
- The voter received a mail ballot but did not return the ballot
What is the procedure for provisional voting?
The voter must fill out a ballot application and sign an affidavit stating the reason for the provisional ballot. The voter receives a correct ballot and a special envelope. After the vote is cast, the ballot is sealed in the special envelope.
The voter must submit additional information to the election authority within two days; that is, the Thursday following the election.
The election authority has 14 days after the election to determine whether the ballot should be counted. The voter has a right to find out if his/her ballot was counted and if it was not counted, the reason why it was not counted. The election authority must have a free access information system for voters to check on the status of their provisional ballot, such as providing a toll-free number or posting information on its website.