Vote Smarter 2020: What Is A Provisional Ballot?
Newsy's Vote Smarter 2020 aims to provide you with all the information you'll need to safely and successfully cast your ballot this year.
What is a provisional ballot?
"So a provisional ballot is a ballot for anyone who doesn't appear qualified at the moment. And then they are qualified or not after the election. And if they are qualified, then their vote is counted," said Lonna Atkeson, the director of the Center for the Study of Voting, Elections and Democracy at the University of New Mexico.
A variety of issues could prompt a voter to be handed a provisional ballot. Maybe they forgot their ID in a state where it is required, or their name isn't on the registration rolls.
"And you can ask, 'What do I need to do to get a regular ballot, to get my ballot counted now?' And that's a conversation you could have on Election Day with the election officials," said Bob Brandon, the president of the Fair Elections Center.
Provisional ballots could also be used if a voter requested a mail-in ballot but decided to vote in person instead. In New Jersey, all registered voters will be sent a mail-in ballot, and anyone who chooses to vote in person will vote by using a provisional one.
"We don't want voters walking away without without having an opportunity to cast their ballot. A provisional ballot will be kept aside. It'll be put into an envelope. And after election day, after the rush of voting at the polls, they will take some steps to verify eligibility," said Matthew Weil, the director of the Elections Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center.
Georgia election probe report on Trump to remain secret for now
The judge said he would further reflect on the parties' arguments and would reach out with any questions before making a final decision.By John Bazemore / AP
Jan. 6 Panel Shutting Down After Referring Trump For Crimes
The House Jan. 6 committee's time officially ends Tuesday when the new Republican-led House is sworn in.By Matt Rourke / AP
Jan. 6 Committee Recommends Charging Trump
Democrats in the House are moving swiftly to wrap up key investigations involving Trump before Republicans take control of the chamber.By AP
Meet the musician teaching the banjo's African roots
As he performs across the country, Jake Blount is helping listeners learn how the banjo relates to Black American culture.By Scripps News
How authorities are combatting counterfeit Super Bowl gear
There's a spike in fake sports gear around the Super Bowl each year, and criminals are getting savvier and more sophisticated.By AP
This is how South Carolina is fixing the correctional officer shortage
A lack of correctional officers across the country is expected to worsen, but South Carolina is making changes to recruit and retain more workers.By Scripps News