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THE PROVISIONAL BALLOT
IN TENNESSEE

PHOTO ID - You must vote by provisional ballot if you do not have a Tennessee state or federally issued  Photo I.D.   This law went in went into effect on January 1, 2012.  This does not require the same steps as the following provisional voter's listed below.

Identifying a Provisional Voter
A. 
A provisional voter is one who is not listed on the voter signature list, but who claims to have registered to vote in his or her precinct of residence.  The person may claim to have registered at an NVRA agency office.  A provisional voter is not one who admits to never have registered to vote or admits to have attempted registering to vote at an address in a different county.

B.  Limitations of Provisional Voting Process - Provisional voting does not permit Election Day voter registration.  The individual must have attempted to register to vote in his or her county of residence prior to the voter registration deadline in order for provisional voting to apply.

C.  Distinguished from Fail-Safe Voting - Provisional voting does not displace or replace fail-safe voting.  Fail-safe voting continues to apply to inactive voters and to registered voters who have moved an address within their county of residence, but have not provided the county election commission with the updated residential address.

The Voting Process for a Provisional Voter
A.  Early Voting - The provisional  voter may vote at the county election commission office or at a satellite location, and must vote the ballot for the precinct in which the voter lives and claims to be registered to vote.

B.  Election Day - The provisional voter must vote in the polling place that serves his or her residential precinct and must vote the ballot for the precinct in which the voter lives and claims to be registered to vote. 

Completion of a Voter Registration Form Required
A.  When a person claims to have registered to vote prior to the thirty (30) day voter registration deadline, but is not found on the computer signature list of registered voters, the person must complete a voter registration application.

B.  To complete the voter registration form, the person must present verification of the residential address under which the person desires to vote.  The following contains examples of items that a person may use to verify his or her residential address:
  • Tennessee Driver License
  • Residential Lease Agreement
  • Utility Bill
  • Mortgage Statement
  • Income Tax Return
  • Credit Card Bill
  • Bank Statement
  • Vehicle Registration
C.  Application for Ballot Required - After the voter registration form has been completed and signed by the applicant, the applicant shall complete an application for ballot.

D.  Issuance of the Provisional Ballot and Provisional Ballot Envelope
  1. Upon completion of the application for ballot, the applicant must be issued a provisional ballot and a provisional ballot envelope.
  2. The provisional ballot envelope, which shall be a different color from the absentee ballot envelope, must have an affidavit attached.
  3. The affidavit shall contain the voter's name, social security number, date of birth, signature and other identifying information deemed necessary by the coordinator of elections.
E.  Voter Votes a Provisional Ballot -  The voter shall vote the provisional ballot in the same manner as any other voter voting a paper ballot.

F.  Casting the Provisional Ballot
  1. After voting the provisional ballot in secret, the voter shall present the folded ballot to the judge assigned to receive and deposit provisional ballots.
  2. The judge shall compare the provisional ballot number on the stub with the provisional ballot number on the voter's ballot application.
  3. All provisional ballot applications shall be filed in the order in which they are received and then placed in the provisional ballot bag at the close of the polls.
  4. If the provisional ballot number on the stub is the same as the voter's ballot application, then the judge shall tear off and destroy the provisional ballot stub and deposit the provisional ballot into the ballot envelope.
  5. The judge shall assure that the provisional ballot envelope has been completed and signed by the voter.
  6. The provisional ballot, in its sealed envelope, shall be deposited in the provisional ballot bag to be returned the the election office.
Determining Which Provisional Ballots May be Counted
A.  Provisional Ballots may be counted only if:
  • Person registered to vote or attempted to register to vote in a timely manner;
  • Person is entitled/eligible to vote;
  • Person cast ballot in precinct of residence; and
  • Person has not already voted.
B.  Rejecting a Provisional Ballot:
  • If it is determined that a ballot shall not be counted, then the provisional ballot envelope shall remain intact and unopened.
  • The provisional ballot affadavit shall not be removed.
  • The word "Rejected" and the reason for the rejection shall be marked across the face of the provisional ballot affidavit.
  • At least two members of the counting board shall sign the sealed, unopened ballot affidavit.
  • The Administrator of Elections shall mail a notice of the rejection to the voter.
                      Provisional Voter Must Vote By Paper Ballot