A few very important notes about provisional ballots:

  • Virginia law requires both the voter AND the election officer to sign the provisional envelope. Not signing is the most common mistake we see with provisional ballots - don’t let that happen in your precinct!

  • If you have additional information about why the voter is voting provisionally, you should put it on the OUTSIDE of the envelope. You can write on the envelope or you can staple notes. This is because the Electoral Board cannot open an envelope until they have already decided to count it. If you or the voter put any notes inside, the Electoral Board will not be able to see them before they make their decision.

  • Once someone has voted provisionally, they may NOT vote normally later that day. A provisional vote counts as your one vote for the day. If a no-ID provisional voter later returns with a copy of their ID, you can attach it to their provisional envelope. But you cannot open or discard the provisional envelope and let the voter vote normally, per state law. And in Fairfax County, we do something funny - we follow the law!