Provisional ballots are used to ensure that all voters are able to cast a ballot even if voter eligibility is uncertain at the time they vote. Voters can mark a provisional ballot, and election workers set it aside until eligibility is verified at a later time.
In Virginia, you may vote a provisional ballot if you meet specific conditions. The local electoral board reviews each provisional ballot during its canvass (official tally) of votes cast to determine if the vote will be counted. The first meeting of the electoral board to review provisional ballots is the day after Election Day and the process must be concluded within seven days.
WHEN CAN VOTERS CAST A PROVISIONAL BALLOT?
There are several reasons a voter may vote a provisional ballot:
- The voter registered on Election Day or during Early Voting in-person.
- The voter’s name is not in the pollbook.
- The pollbook indicates the person has already voted.
- The General Registrar cannot confirm the voter is registered to vote.
- The voter says they are registered to vote in this precinct and eligible in this election.
- The pollbook indicates the person requested an absentee ballot, the ballot has not been returned, and the voter doesn’t have the original absentee ballot with them.
- The voter is voting in a split precinct and believes they have been registered in the incorrect district.
- Polling hours are extended by court order. Note: ballots cast after 7:00 pm are closed are kept separate from all other ballots.
- If a voter is challenged by another voter and will not sign the affirmation statement but insists on voting
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 status of your provisional ballot.
CAN I VOTE A PROVISIONAL BALLOT IF I DON’T BRING MY ID TO VOTE?
Voters who do not bring a form of ID to the polls, and do not sign an ID Confirmation Statement, 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.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO “CURE” (FIX) MY BALLOT?
You have until noon on the Friday following the election to deliver a copy of your ID, or sign and submit an ID Confirmation Statement, to the local election board in order for your provisional ballot to be counted.
You can submit your ID, or signed ID Confirmation Statement, through fax, email, in person or through the USPS or a commercial delivery service. The copy of the ID, or signed ID Confirmation Statement, must be delivered by noon on Friday. A Friday postmark does not count.