Explained: Provisional Ballots


Moss Brennan, Reporter

Provisional ballots are offered to voters for the following reasons:

  • No record of registration
  • Unreported move
  • Previously removed
  • No Acceptable ID under the Help America Vote Act
  • Unrecognizable Address
  • Incorrect precinct
  • Incorrect Party
  • Voter already voted
  • Jurisdiction dispute
  • Voted during extended hours

All provisional ballots are returned to the county board of elections, where staff have 10 days to research issues underlying the provisional applications. They then provide the results of the investigations to the county board of elections.

If the provisional ballot is approved, the ballot is removed from the sealed envelope and counted. The board will also inform the voter if there are additional steps that need to take place to approve a ballot.

If a voter moves outside of their precinct, but stays in Watauga County, they can vote at the transfer voting site located in Linville Falls, Room 226 in Plemmons Student Union. That is the only transfer voting site in Watauga County.

To check the status of a provisional vote, a voter may:

  1. Online: Provisional Ballot Lookup
  2. Call (919) 733-7173 or (866) 522-4723
  3. Call your local county board of elections office

Information courtesy of the North Carolina Board of Elections