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 three 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’s license registers to vote at a polling place on election day, but cannot list the driver’s license number on the registration;
- A first-time Wisconsin voter who registers by mail but does not provide an identifying document establishing proof of residence at the time he or she submits the registration form and is unable to provide the required proof of residence at the polling place.
- A qualified elector who fails to provide an acceptable form of proof of identification. (The photo identification requirement is currently enjoined by the circuit court and cannot be enforced).
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 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.