Re: Dealing with Provisional ballots

From: Douglas W. Jones <jones_at_cs_dot_uiowa_dot_edu>
Date: Thu May 20 2004 - 09:56:33 CDT

On May 20, 2004, at 8:21 AM, wrote:

> When I was an Election Judge in Texas, provisional ballots were
> counted, but the ID numbers of the provisional ballots were stored in
> a sealed envelope at each precinct and sent to the County Elections
> Administrator. The sealed envelopes would be opened only in case of a
> close contest where the provisional voters were validated. If a voter
> were invalidated, his ballot would be retrieved and his votes
> subtracted.

The processing of provisional ballots varies immensely. In your state,
they are only investigated if some race is close enough for them to make
a difference. In other states, provisional ballots are always counted.
Be careful!

In many states, the provisional ballot itself must not be marked in any
way to indicate that it is provisional. The way it is "provisionalized"
is to seal it into an envelope, and then mark, on the outside of the
envelope, the case for counting that ballot. The case is judged while
the envelope is sealed, and then, once accepted, the envelope is opened,
separated from the ballot, and then the ballot is processed anonymously,
just like all other ballots.

                        Doug Jones
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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:56 2004

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