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Saturday, 1st November 2008

Provisional Ballot Problems Loom as 2008 Election Approaches, New Report Finds

Provisional Ballot Problems Loom as 2008 Election Approaches, New Report Finds
Source: Demos

Provisional ballots could play a significant role in the 2008 Election, frustrating voters and leading to possible post-election wrangling, according to a study published this week by the non-partisan public policy center Demos. "Provisional Ballots: Where to Watch in 2008" identifies eight states where there is significant concern over provisional ballot implementation and the high risk of many of those ballots going uncounted in this election.

Provisional balloting was adopted nationwide as part of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) in an effort to remedy the problem--widespread in the 2000 election--of voters being turned away from the polls because their names were not on voter rolls. This so-called 'fail-safe' voting provision requires states to offer provisional ballots to individuals who believe they are registered to vote but whose names do not appear on the voter rolls or who do not meet federal identification requirements. Such ballots are counted if election officials subsequently determine that the individual was a legitimate voter under state law.

+ Full Report (PDF; 336 KB)



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