A provisional ballot is used to record a vote if the voter's eligibility is in question and the voter would otherwise not be allowed to vote. There are several scenarios where a voter may cast a provisional ballot:

  • Your name does not appear on the official poll list for the precinct or an election official asserts that you are not eligible to vote or is unable to determine your eligibility
  • You are unable or decline to provide the required proof of identity
  • Your name appears on the official poll list for that precinct as having already requested an absentee ballot
  • Your name is marked on the poll list or signature book with a notation that certain registration mailings have been returned as un-deliverable
  • A hearing on a challenge to your eligibility as an elector has been postponed until after Election Day
  • Your signature, in the opinion of the precinct officers, does not match the signature on your registration form
  • Your eligibility to cast a ballot has been challenged by the precinct officials

Before your provisional ballot can be included in the official count of an election, the board of elections must confirm your eligibility to cast the ballot, as well as the validity of the ballot that you cast. If you cast a provisional ballot and provided acceptable proof of identity, you typically do not need to provide any additional information. However, if you cast a provisional ballot and did not provide acceptable proof of identity at the time of voting, you must appear in person at the board of elections no later than seven days following the election to provide such proof within the 10 days immediately following Election Day. Acceptable proof of identity includes:

  • Current and valid photo ID
  • A military identification
  • A copy of a current (within the last 12 months) utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document (not a voter registration acknowledgement mailed by the board of elections) that shows your name and current address
  • The last four digits of your Social Security number

Provisional ballots are counted until the 11th day after Election Day or until any hearing required under State Law with regard to the provisional voter is held, whichever is earlier.