arrowSection 5.1 - Polling Place Rules

arrowSection 5.2 - Absentee & At-Home Voting

arrowSection 5.3 - Recounts and Other Remedies

arrowSection 5.4 - Provisional Voting

Print Page

Traditionally, and even today, most voting occurs at polling places, and therefore the primary set of rules governing voting procedures concerns what happens at polling places. These are covered in Section 5.1. Moreover, we have created Section 5.4, a new section of the e-Book on Election Law, because a particularly and increasingly important subset of these rules concerns provisional voting, which permits an individual to record a ballot even when there is doubt about whether the individual is eligible to vote (with the doubt resolved subsequently).

But more and more Americans are voting at home rather than at polling places, with mail-in ballots being an equally available option to voters in many locations, without any need to show — as they did for old-style "absentee ballots" — that they would need to be away from home on election day. This trend of at-home will accelerate even more to the extent that Internet voting becomes a prevalent practice. Various legal issues surrounding the use of voting procedures that do not involve showing up at a polling place are addressed in Section 5.2.

Finally, as we know too well from 2000, election procedures must regulate not only the act of voting, but also any recounts that are necessary in close elections. These recount procedures are covered in Section 5.3.