Voting by Provisional Ballot

What if I am told I must vote a provisional ballot? What would cause this to happen? What is a provisional ballot, anyway?

From http://ballot-integrity.org/pollwatcher-toolkit-dupage-county.pdf :

PROVISIONAL VOTING: When is it appropriate? (See also pages 21 and 22 of this toolkit.)

There are six separate circumstances in which a provisional ballot is appropriate:

  1. The person’s registration cannot be verified: Their name does not appear in any of the following:
    • The ballot-application book.
    • The regular or supplemental voter-registration sheets.
    • The Board of Elections master list of registered voters. (This latter list must be checked by a phone call from a judge to the Board of Elections.)
  2. The person’s voting status has been challenged by an election judge, a poll watcher, or any legal voter; and the challenge has been sustained by a majority of the election judges.
  3. A federal or State court order extends the time for closing the polls beyond the time period established by State law and the person votes during the extended time period.
  4. The voter registered to vote by mail and is required by law to present ID when voting either in person or by absentee ballot, but fails to do so.
  5. The voter’s name appears on the list of voters who voted during the early voting period, but voter claims to have not voted during the early voting period.
  6. The voter received an absentee ballot but did not return the absentee ballot to the election authority.

IMPORTANT: If you vote a Provisional Ballot, unless voting during specially extended poll hours (case #3 above), you will need to provide proof of eligiblity within the next two days after the election if you did not do so at the time of voting.  Most voters don’t!

Excerpt from the Illinois Election Code regarding Provisional Ballots 

(10 ILCS 5/18A-15)

Sec. 18A-15. Validating and counting provisional ballots. (d) In validating the registration status of a person casting a provisional ballot, the county clerk or board of election commissioners shall not require a provisional voter to complete any form other than the affidavit executed by the provisional voter under subsection (b)(2) of Section 18A-5. In addition, the county clerk or board of election commissioners shall not require all provisional voters or any particular class or group of provisional voters to appear personally before the county clerk or board of election commissioners or as a matter of policy require provisional voters to submit additional information to verify or otherwise support the information already submitted by the provisional voter. The provisional voter may, within 2 calendar days after the election, submit additional information to the county clerk or board of election commissioners. This information must be received by the county clerk or board of election commissioners within the 2-calendar-day period.

It is up to you to verify that your provisional ballot has been counted. You can look this up on the same page used to check your registration.

Yes, You May Vote! DON’T ACCEPT “NO”! 

If you have a disability and need assistance with voting, you are legally entitled to bring someone to assist you to vote.

You are not required to show identification at the polling place if you still reside at the address where you are registered to vote

You will give the judge your name and address, then sign the form the judge gives you. Please use your “normal” signature; the judge may request you to sign in the same manner as your signature on record.

The only exception to this is if you registered by mail or online and didn’t include the necessary identification with your registration. In this case, two forms of identification are required before casting a ballot for the first time, one containing your current address. Having a state-issued photo ID can often avoid a provisional ballot or eligibility challenges. We highly recommend you bring this to save time and ensure your ability to vote. You should not be asked to show your social security card as they will not be able to use that to identify you.

If You Have a Mail-in Ballot and Want to Vote on Election Day

If you have obtained a mail-in ballot, you must vote using this ballot and surrender both the ballot and envelope at the polling place to be able to vote. If you do not bring these materials, you will have to vote a Provisional Ballot.

You are always entitled to cast a Provisional Ballot if for any reason you don’t meet the above requirements. There are NO circumstances that “disqualify” you from voting a Provisional Ballot! If you vote a Provisional Ballot, please carefully note the following to be sure your vote is counted:

  1. Provisional Ballots, once cast, are set aside until the voter’s qualifications can be established. If you vote with a Provisional Ballot, unless voting during specially extended poll hours (case #3 below), you will need to provide proof of eligibility at the County Clerk’s office at 421 N. County Farm Rd., Wheaton within the next 48 hours after the election if you did not do so at the time of voting.  Most people that use a provisional ballot aren’t aware that they need to do this.
  2. It is up to you to verify that your provisional ballot has been counted. You can look this up on the same page used to check your registration: https://dupageco.org/VoterLookup/.

From the Pollwatcher’s Toolkit at ballot-integrity.org/pollwatcher-toolkit-dupage-county.pdf :

There are six separate circumstances in which a provisional ballot is appropriate:

  1. The person’s registration cannot be verified: Their name does not appear in any of the following:
    1. The ballot-application book.
    2. The regular or supplemental voter-registration sheets.
    3. The Board of Elections master list of registered voters. (This latter list must be checked by a phone call from a judge to the Board of Elections.)
  2. The person’s voting status has been challenged by an election judge, a poll watcher, or any legal voter; and the challenge has been sustained by a majority of the election judges
  3. A federal or State court order extends the time for closing the polls beyond the time period established by State law and the person votes during the extended time period
  4. The voter registered to vote by mail and is required by law to present ID when voting either in person or by absentee ballot, but fails to do so.
  5. The voter’s name appears on the list of voters who voted during the early voting period, but voter claims to have not voted during the early voting period.
  6. The voter received an absentee ballot but did not return the absentee ballot to the election authority.

Prepared by the Lisle Township Democratic Organization