In Florida, if someone claims to be eligible to vote, but their voting status can’t be confirmed at the voting precinct, it’s likely they’ll be handed what’s called a provisional ballot.
Provisional voters are allowed to present written evidence to the supervisor of elections supporting their eligibility to vote. The deadline for voters to do that is 5 p.m. Thursday.
Most area counties also allow voters to check their provisional ballot’s status online:
- Baker County - (904) 259-6339
- Clay County - (904) 269-6350
- Duval County - (904) 630-1414
- Flagler County - (386) 313-4170
- Nassau County - 904-491-7500
- St. Johns County: 1-888-960-2969. The St. Johns Supervisor of Elections does not have an online database checker for provisional ballots. Instead, voters must call the number listed. Additional information about provisional ballots is at this webpage.
A county canvassing board will determine if the person voting by provisional ballot was entitled to vote at the precinct their vote was cast, and that the person had not already cast a ballot in the election.
The board determines voting eligibility by reviewing the voter’s Certificate and Affirmation form filled out at the time of voting, written evidence provided by the voter and any other evidence provided by the supervisor of elections.
Hundreds of provisional ballots were cast in Duval County. That’s something local partisans are paying close attention to, as recounts loom in razor-thin statewide races.
The Duval Democrats say about 50 of their volunteers are reaching out to people who cast provisional ballots by phone and knocking on their doors Thursday to remind them they may need to take additional steps for their votes to count.
Party Chair Lisa King said a lot times proof of address will fix the problem.
“But in some cases it could be proof of eligibility to vote. Some people may have been purged from the voting rolls inappropriately,” King said. “I know of one case where someone was told they did not have the right to vote because they were a convicted felon, but they had had their civil rights restored, and so they’re going to have to produce that proof.”
Duval Republican Party Chair Karyn Morton said her party is also reaching out to voters who cast provisional ballots, but with fewer than 1,000 of them cast in Duval, her party isn’t doing an “all out blast.”
“Obviously both parties are definitely actively working to make sure all of our provisionals are covered,” Morton said.
She said members from both parties have been present in room during the deposition for all provisional ballots.
King believes recounts, which are triggered by state law when the margin of votes is less than 0.5 percent between two candidates, may become the new normal in Florida.
“What people need to understand is our state has become a 50-50 state,” King said.
Voters who cast traditional ballots can also check to confirm their votes were recorded at the following links:
Bill Bortzfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.
Reporter Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at email@example.com, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.