A provisional ballot is a ballot that is marked by a voter but is not counted at the time it is cast. It is issued to a voter who is unable to provide the poll workers with documentation as required by Wisconsin and federal law.
There are two circumstances in which a voter is entitled to receive a provisional ballot:
- A qualified elector who has been issued a current and valid Wisconsin driver license or identification card number registers to vote at a polling place on election day, but is unable or unwilling to list the number on the registration;
- A first-time Wisconsin voter who registers by mail before April 4, 2014 but did not provide an identifying document establishing proof of residence at the time he or she submitted the registration form and is unable to provide the required proof of residence at the polling place.
Provisional ballots are NOT given when a voter is at the wrong polling place. If a voter appears at the wrong polling place, he or she will be directed to the proper location.
Provisional ballots are also NOT given when a person is attempting to register in-person at the polling place and does not provide the required proof of residence.
A provisional ballot will not be counted unless the voter provides the required information to the poll workers by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day or the municipal clerk by 4:00 p.m. of the Friday following the election.
Instructions for voters who cast a provisional ballot are here.