League of Women Voters

Virginia Provisional Voting

Provisional ballots are counted 7 calendar days after the election.

There are several reason a voter may vote a provisional ballot:

  • If your name is not on the poll book and you believe you are registered in that precinct and the registrar's office cannot be reached to verify your registration status
  • If you do not show one of the acceptable forms of ID
  • If you registered by mail on or after January 1, 2003 and did not mail a copy of your ID at that time, fails to show one of the federally required forms of ID when voting for the first time in a federal election
  • If you were sent an absentee ballot but did not receive or lost the ballot or had returned the ballot and also appears at the regular polling place on Election Day
  • If the normal voting hours are extended by court order
  • If the poll book shows that you have already cast a ballot in the current election

If you are asked to vote a provisional ballot your ballot will be sealed in a green envelope. You must provide all information requested on both sides of the envelope and sign the Statement of Voter. The election official will tell you when and where the Electoral Board will meet and will give you a phone number to call and find out the states of your provisional ballot.

Your provisional ballot will not be counted on Election Day. Your local Electoral Board will meet the day after the election to begin its determination of provisional votes. The votes of qualified voters will then be counted and included in the results for your area.

You are allowed to be present when the Election Board meets to determine if your vote was valid.

Voters who do not bring a form of ID to the polls will be given the opportunity to vote a provisional ballot. Once you complete the provisional ballot, you will be given written instructions from the election official on how to submit a copy of your ID so that your vote can be counted. All information on how to submit the proper ID will be given at this time.

You will have until noon on the Friday following the election to deliver a copy of the ID to the local election board in order for the provisional ballot to be counted. You can submit your ID through fax, email, in person or through the USPS or a commercial delivery service. The copy of ID must be delivered by noon on Friday, a Friday postmark does not count.

If you do not have any forms of photo ID, you may appear in-person in the office of the general registrar, in the area in which the provisional ballot was cast, and apply for a Virginia Voter Photo ID Card. After filling out the application, you may request the Temporary Identification Document, which you may then provide to the electoral board to suffice the ID requirement to. You must complete this process before noon on the Friday following the election



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