What is a provisional ballot?

A provisional ballot is used when a voter’s eligibility cannot be confirmed at the polls. Often this occurs due to out-of-precinct voting, if the voter has not updated their address on their voter registration or more often if the voter cannot provide sufficient identification. The laws governing the use of provisional ballots vary by state. Most of the time these ballots will not be counted until the voter can be verified, a process that happens after election day and usually only affects an extremely close or tied election.

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