What should you do if you received a provisional ballot in an election?
Sometimes states require voters to take additional steps to verify their eligibility in order for the provisional ballot to count such as submitting an acceptable form of identification at a board of elections office within a specified time period after Election Day.
There are no clear and uniform standards for counting provisional ballots. For example, many states do not count provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct, while others do. Provisional ballots are typically rejected for one of four reasons:
(1) the voter is not registered to vote;
(2) the voter cast the provisional ballot in the wrong precinct or jurisdiction;
(3) the voter did not complete or sign the provisional ballot; or
(4) the voter did not provide sufficient identification.
Though it may be difficult on Election Day for a voter to know whether his or her provisional ballot will be counted, under the Help America Vote Act ALL states are required to provide provisional voters an opportunity to find out afterwards whether their provisional ballot was counted or rejected and, if rejected, the reasons for the rejection.
Voters concerned about filling out provisional ballots should not hesitate to call 866-OUR-VOTE for further information.