Voting by Provisional Ballot
If you are a registered voter but your name is not on the voter roster at your polling place, you have the right to vote a provisional ballot.
What is a provisional ballot?
Sometimes the County Elections Office needs more time to determine a voter's eligibility to vote. We may ask that voter to vote with a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot records your vote, while the County Election Office determines whether it can be counted.
You have the right to vote with a provisional ballot if:
- You registered to vote in Pennsylvania and are eligible in the election district, but your name is not in the voter roster and Election Officials cannot determine your registration status.
- You do not have an approved form of identification when you go to vote in an election district for the first time.
- For a primary election, voters who believe they registered for a particular political party, but the roster shows them registered as a member of another political party.
- Someone challenges your eligibility to vote. You may produce a witness to sign an affidavit to affirm your identity and residency. If you produce a witness, you can vote either by paper ballot or on the machines. If you are unable to or choose not to produce a witness, you can vote with a provisional ballot.
You may be required to vote with provisional ballot if:
- You are voting as a result of a federal or state court order.
- You are voting as a result of an order that extends the time established for closing the polls.
How do I vote on a provisional ballot?
If you vote by provisional ballot, you will be asked to follow these instructions:
1. Complete and sign the provisional ballot affidavit on the back of the provisional ballot affidavit envelope.
2. Mark your provisional ballot in an accessible and private area of the polling place.
3. Seal your provisional ballot in the secrecy envelope.
4. Seal the secrecy envelope in the provisional ballot affidavit envelope.
5. Sign the front of the provisional ballot affidavit envelope.
6. Return the sealed provisional ballot affidavit envelope to a polling place election official.
7. Receive your provisional ballot identification receipt.
How are provisional ballots counted?
Within 7 days after the election, the County Election Office will decide whether you were eligible to vote at the election district where you voted the provisional ballot. If you were eligible, they will count your provisional ballot.
How do I find out if my ballot counted?
You can find out if your provisional ballot counted, partially counted or did not count 7 days after the election.
If your provisional ballot was not counted, you can find out why by:
You must provide your provisional ballot identification number, which is on your provisional ballot identification receipt.