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Voting Provisionally

Provisional voting ensures that every U.S. citizen who is eligible to vote in a federal election will be able to do so. Provisional voting was provided for by federal law in the Help America Vote Act. A paper provisional ballot is used to allow a person to vote when there is a question about the voter's eligibility. The person must certify that he or she is a registered voter in the parish and eligible to vote in the federal election before casting a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot is a paper ballot that is cast provisionally until election officials can verify the voter's eligibility to vote in the federal election.
Provisional voting applies only to elections for federal office (Presidential Preference Primary, U.S. President, U.S. Senator and/or U.S. Representative). It does not apply to local or state elections. Provisional voting can take place either during early voting or on election day.
Provisional voting applies to three (3) categories of voters (federal elections only):
  • a person whose name does not appear in the precinct register or supplemental register and who is not authorized to vote by Precinct Register Correction (PRC) form;
  • a voter who is challenged and a majority of the commissioners determine that the challenge is valid (this would include a voter who completes an Address Confirmation Card- Election Day and checks box three (3) that he or she has moved outside of the parish more than three (3) months before the election); or
  • a voter who votes in a federal election during court ordered extended poll hours (federal offices only).
A person may be authorized to vote by completion of the PRC form by either the registrar of voters' office, the secretary of state's office or by the commissioner-in-charge.

If a voter's name does not appear in the precinct register or supplemental register, the commissioner is required to contact the registrar of voters' office or the secretary of state's office to see if there is an error or omission in the precinct register. Additionally, the commissioner-in-charge may authorize a person only after verifying the person's registration and precinct information on either the secretary of state's GeauxVote app or through a look up voter registration list provided by the clerk of court's office for this purpose only on Election Day.

After completion of a PRC form, the voter signs and then the voter may vote on the voting machine (the voter would not be a provisional voter and therefore votes on the voting machine).
You will cast your vote(s) on a paper provisional ballot and you will be given your provisional ballot number with written instructions on when and how to determine whether your vote was counted.
Your provisional ballot will be counted by the parish board of election supervisors if they find:
  • you are an eligible voter in the election for federal office(s); and
  • you cast your ballot in the parish in which you are registered; and
  • you have not voted another ballot for federal offices in the election anywhere in the state.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended, prohibits racial or language minority discrimination in voting. To make a discrimination complaint under the Federal Voting Rights Act, contact:

Chief, Voting Section, Civil Rights Division
Room 7254-NWB
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20530

toll-free 800.253.3931
202.307.2767

To make a complaint under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, contact:

Voting Rights Division, Department of Justice toll-free 800.514.0301 (option 7)
To report voting fraud, contact the Elections Division toll-free at 800.883.2805 or contact the nearest office of the FBI or your local U.S. Attorney's office.

To file a written notarized complaint with the elections division of the Louisiana Department of State, contact:

Commissioner of Elections
Department of State
P.O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125
If you have further questions about voting provisionally, please call your parish registrar of voters.