Provisional Voting

Provisional Ballots

A provisional ballot is issued to a voter if there is a question regarding his or her registration status or eligibility to vote in the election.

A provisional ballot is the same as a regular ballot, but it will only be counted if the Election Authority’s office can verify after Election Day that the voter is registered and qualified to vote in the election.

Circumstances where Provisional Ballots are used
  • Your name does not appear on the list of registered voters for this precinct.
  • Your voting status has been challenged by an election judge, pollwatcher or another voter and a majority of the election judges agree.
  • A court order is issued instructing your polling place to remain open after 7:00 p.m. (Everyone voting after 7:00 p.m. must cast provisional ballots if this occurs.)
  • You are required to show identification because you registered by mail, but you did not bring your ID to the polling place on Election Day.

Polling place procedures

  1. Fill out and sign the legal affidavit form. You will receive a copy of the affidavit.
  2. An election judge will note on the affidavit the reason(s) you were issued a provisional ballot. The judge will place the original affidavit and any documentation you provide in an envelope with the clear plastic window.
  3. After voting your ballot, place the provisional ballot inside the security envelope, seal it and return it to the election judge.
  4. If you make a mistake, ask an election judge for a new ballot. Do not seal the spoiled ballot in the envelope.

After the polls close

The Election Authority’s office receives all provisional ballots and verifies the registration information for each provisional voter within two weeks after the election.

If the Election Authority’s office determines that you are registered and eligible to vote in the precinct where the ballot was cast, the envelope is opened and your ballot is counted.

If you are not registered, the envelope will not be opened and the votes you cast will not count. However, the information you supplied on the envelope will serve as a registration application.

Additional information

If you have any information, identification or documents (e.g. receipt from the Secretary of State’s Office, copy from a deputy registration form) to show that you are a registered voter or eligible to vote, please:

  • Provide it to the election judges on Election Day.
  • Bring it to the Election Authority’s office.
  • The Election Authority’s office must receive all supporting information before the close of business on the Thursday following Election Day.

Find out if your vote counts

Provisional voters may check their ballot status here or call (866) 513-1121, starting 2 weeks after the election. If your ballot was not counted, you may also learn the reason why it was not.