arrowSection 5.4 - Provisional Voting

This topic is monitored by Moritz Law Professor Daniel Tokaji

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State-by-State Provisional Ballot Guidelines

More "Swing States" will be added as the information is compiled


Colorado’s general provisional voting statute, C.R.S. § 1-9-301, explains basic provisional ballot voting within the state.

C.R.S. § 1-9-303 states that verification and counting of all provisional ballots shall be completed within 12 days after the election.


After the polls close in Florida, the canvassing boards will meet that evening to determine the status of each provisional vote. There is not an explicit deadline, but the determinations will be made that very evening when the canvassing boards meet. Fla. Stat. § 102.141(2) explains where the board will meet and the notice that must be given to the public, and states where in the counting process provisional ballots are addressed.


According to the state's plan, Minnesota satisfies the requirements of HAVA through the use of election-day voter registration procedures (Minn. Stat. § 201.061, Registration on or before election day).

An election judge may challenge an individual whom the person knows or reasonably believes is not an eligible voter by testing the voter to determine the voter’s right to vote and residence (Minn. Stat. § 200.031), and if the test fails to prove the voter is ineligible, the election judge shall administer an oath and require the voter to sign a voter certificate, after which the voter may vote (Minn. Stat. § 204C.12). If the voter’s answers show that the voter is ineligible to vote, the voter may not vote in the election (Minn. Stat. § 204C.12).

New Hampshire

New Hampshire is exempted from the HAVA 302 requirements because New Hampshire permits election day registering of voters (R.S.A. § 654:7-a) so long as the individual meets the requirements (voter eligibility requirements) under statute (R.S.A. § 654:12).

New Mexico

The provisional ballots in New Mexico must be determined before the county boards’ complete the canvass and declare the results, and the county canvassing boards have ten days from the date of the election to complete the canvass (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 1-13-13).


Each provisional ballot must be determined to be a legitimate or illegitimate vote within 3 business days of the election. 25 P.S. § 3050(a.4)(4)


According to the state's plan, Wisconsin is exempt from giving a voter not found on a poll list a provisional ballot because Wisconsin has a system of election day registration that permits a voter whose name does not appear on the poll list to register at the polling place. Under the statute, a voter must provide proof of residence or have the registration application corroborated by an elector of the municipality who has proof of residence. Wis. Stat. § 6.55 (Polling Place Registration).

Further, for provisional ballots that are to be provided for any individual who votes after the polls close pursuant a court order, those provisional ballots are treated as challenged ballots under Wis. Stat § 6.95. The ballot is counted, but if the court order is overturned, the ballot can be retrieved and the canvass results changed to reflect the court action.

[Posted October 18, 2004]