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Provisional ballots in Ohio: What's the difference?

Posted at 4:18 PM, Nov 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-08 17:23:00-05

Some voters refer to it as the worst-case scenario when it comes to voting, but what's the real difference between the standard ballot and a provisional ballot?

According to election officials, a provisional ballot is provided when voters check in at the polls and aren't properly registered, have changed precincts or don't have the proper ID.

"Although they may be upset, I think the consolation is that they're still able to vote," Ross McDonald, with the Lake County Board of Elections, told News 5.

Unlike the standard ballot, provisional ballots are not counted until after the election.

"Tonight's results are truly unofficial. They'll be tens of thousands of ballots added to the official count," Jane Clair, Director Lake County Elections, told News 5.

"In the meantime, we research and make sure we can count those provisional ballots," McDonald added.

Provisional ballots are considered a fail-safe by the state of Ohio, according to the board of elections. They are considered a way to verify a ballot if a voter's identity or eligibility is in question.