Voting by Provisional Ballot

If you are a registered voter but your eligibility to vote at your polling place is uncertain,  you have the right to vote a provisional ballot.

What is a provisional ballot?

Sometimes county elections officials need more time to determine a voter's eligibility to vote. Election officials may ask that voter to vote a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot records your vote while the county board of elections determines whether it can be counted.

You may be issued a provisional ballot for the reasons below:

  • Your name was not in the poll book or supplemental poll book.
    • For example, you reported to the wrong precinct; or
    • You did not report a recent change in residence to the county election office.
  • You are required to show ID, but cannot show ID.
  • Your eligibility was challenged by an election official.
  • You were issued but did not successfully vote an absentee or mail‐in ballot and you do not surrender your ballot at the polling place to be spoiled.
  • You returned a completed absentee or mail‐in ballot that was rejected by the county board of elections and you believe you are eligible to vote.
  • There is a special court order with respect to your registration status.
  • There is a special court order related to extending the hours of voting.
  • You believe that you are registered in a political party, but your voter record indicates otherwise (for primary elections only).


How do I vote a provisional ballot?

If you vote by provisional ballot, you will be asked to follow these instructions:

  1. Complete the sections on the provisional envelope labeled Voter Information, Voter Affidavit for Provisional Ballot, and Current Address in front of election officials.
  2. Mark your provisional ballot in an accessible and private area of the polling place.
  3. Seal your provisional ballot in the secrecy envelope.
  4. Seal the secrecy envelope in the provisional ballot affidavit envelope.
  5. Fill out the Voter Signature section on the provisional ballot envelope in front of polling place election officials.
  6. Return the sealed provisional ballot affidavit envelope to a polling place election official.
  7. Receive your provisional ballot identification receipt.


How are provisional ballots counted?

Within 7 days after the election, the county board of elections will decide whether you were eligible to vote at the election district where you voted the provisional ballot. If you were eligible, they will count your provisional ballot. 


How do I find out if my ballot counted?

You can find out if your provisional ballot counted, partially counted or did not count beginning 7 days after the election. 

If your provisional ballot was not counted, you can find out why by:

You must provide your provisional ballot identification number, which is on your provisional ballot identification receipt.