Provisional Voting

Sangamon County Provisional Voting Instructions

What is Provisional Voting
In order to ensure voters’ rights, the “Help America Vote Act” and the Illinois Election Code provide for provisional voting. Provisional voting was created to allow a voter, whose eligibility has been questioned, to vote on Election Day.

When Does Provisional Voting Apply
A provisional ballot is a regular ballot that is issued to a person, who meets one of the following 7 conditions, BUT the ballot is NOT DEPOSITED IN THE BALLOT BOX, rather it is kept in a separate, securable container. The Election Office will then verify all provisional ballots within two weeks of the election and if determined it is valid, the ballot will be counted and added to the official results.

Reasons a person would be a provisional voter:

  1. The person’s name does not appear on the list of registered voters and the person has refused an opportunity to register at the polling place or the Election Office.
  2. The person’s voting status has been challenged by an election judge, pollwatcher, or any legal voter in the polling place and that challenge has been sustained (agree with the challenger) by a majority of the Election Judges.
  3. The person votes in a polling place that is required to stay open beyond 7:00 p.m. by court order.
  4. The person failed to provide valid identification with a mail-in voter registration application and does not provide it at the polling place.
  5. The person's name appears on the list of voters who voted during the early voting period, but voter claims not to have voted during the early voting period.
  6. The person received an absentee ballot but did not return the absentee ballot to the election authority.
  7. The voter attempted to register to vote on election day, but failed to provide necessary documentation.

Procedures for Provisional Voting
If a person falls into one of the 6 categories above, they MUST be notified by the Election Judges of their right to vote provisionally. The following procedures are then followed:

  1. Provisional Voter must complete the Affidavit of Provisional Voter and provide their Driver’s License Number, State I.D. Card Number or the last 4 digits of their Social Security Number and any other information supporting the voter’s claim that they are qualified to vote. The voter must also complete an application to vote.
  2. An Election Judge will sign the affidavit, mark the reason for being issued a provisional ballot and the party, if it is a Primary Election. The original affidavit stays with the Provisional Ballot Envelope and the copy goes to the voter.
  3. The provisional voter is then issued a Secrecy Provisional Ballot Envelope (which contains instructions to the voter) and a ballot card of the correct ballot type and votes in the conventional manner.
  4. The voter will vote, place and seal the voted ballot in the Secrecy Provisional Ballot Envelope, and return it to the Election Judges.
  5. The Election Judges will deposit it in a separate securable container (other than the ballot box containing the regular ballots).

What Happens to the Provisional Ballot
Provisional Voters have seven calendar days to provide any supporting information to the Election Office which may show that they are a registered voter. Starting two weeks after the election, a provisional voter may call the toll free number provided on their copy of the affidavit (866-513-1121) or visit the State Board of Election website to determine if their vote was counted by providing the unique provisional code number printed on the Affidavit copy the voter receives.

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