What is a Provisional Ballot?
A Provisional Ballot is an alternative voting method for a voter whose eligibility is in question or cannot be verified at their polling site. Provisional Ballots help protect against voter fraud and are governed by state law. (§101.048, F.S.)
Voters who vote a Provisional Ballot do not place their ballots into the voting machine on Election Day. Instead, Provisional Ballots are placed in secure envelopes to be delivered to the Supervisor of Elections office for further research and processing.
Reasons for Provisional Voting
- Voter is not registered.
- Voter lacks proper identification.
- Voter's eligibility cannot be verified at the precinct or has been challenged.
- Voter is at the incorrect precinct
Counting Provisional Ballots
All Provisional Ballots cast are researched and reviewed for eligibility. The Canvassing Board, based on the research, will determine a Provisional Ballot's eligibility.
The secrecy of votes cast is protected during the Canvassing Board’s review of Provisional Ballots and only legal requirements for voting are examined.The legal standard used by the Canvassing Board to review Provisional Ballots is as follows:If it is determined that the person was registered and entitled to vote at the precinct where the person cast a vote in the election, the Canvassing Board shall compare the signature on the Provisional Ballot Voter’s Certificate and Affirmation with the signature on the voter’s registration and, if it matches, shall count the ballot. (§101.048(2), F.S.)
Voters who forget their ID do not need to provide evidence of their eligibility to the Canvassing Board, as the signature on the affirmation they sign at the polls will be compared to their signature on record with the Supervisor of Elections office.
Voters who vote Provisional for other reasons (for example, eligibility is challenged by another person, in the wrong precinct when voting, do not appear on the precinct register, etc.), should provide evidence to the Canvassing Board no later than 5 P.M. two days after the election to support the validity of the Provisional Ballot.
Within 30 days of Election Day the Supervisor of Elections office will notify all persons who voted via Provisional Ballot whether their ballot was or was not deemed valid.
Provisional Ballot Status
If you were issued a Provisional Ballot for an election administered by Leon County, you can use the following link to check the status of your ballot. Provisional Ballot StatusNOTE: You must have the Provisional Ballot tracking ID that was given to you at the time you received the Provisional Ballot. If you do not have that information, please contact the
Florida Supervisor of Elections Office in the county of your residence for assistance.
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