News23ABC In-Depth


What is provisional voting and how does it work?

Posted: 5:20 PM, May 09, 2022
Updated: 2022-05-09 20:20:09-04
Voting (FILE)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Through provisional voting, you can still have your voice heard and make your vote count on Election Day. But what is provisional voting and how does it work?

California's provisional ballot voting has been in place since 1984 and was put in place so that "no properly registered voter is denied their right to cast a ballot if that voter's name is not on the polling place roster," and to allow "elections officials to ensure that no voter votes twice."

What Is a Provisional Ballot?

A provisional ballot is a regular ballot that is placed in a special envelope prior to being put in the ballot box.

Who Casts a Provisional Ballot?

The Secretary of State's website says provisional ballots are ballots cast by two types of voters.

First, voters who believe they are registered to vote even though their names are not on the official voter registration list at the polling place. Or those who vote by mail, but instead want to vote at their polling place and they did not receive their ballot or do not have their ballot with them.

What Happens After You Cast a Provisional Ballot?

According to the Secretary of State's website, a provisional ballot is only counted after elections officials confirm the person is registered to vote and they have not already voted in that election.

Where Can Someone Vote by Provisional Ballot?

Voters can cast a provisional ballot at any polling place in the county in which they are registered to vote, however, only the elections contests they are eligible to vote for will be counted.