Provisional Ballot Count Could Delay Election Outcome

Monday, 05 Nov 2012 01:46 PM

By Greg McDonald

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If the presidential race turns out be as close as predicted, the counting of provisional ballots could delay the election outcome in Virginia and several other battleground states, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported today.
According to the newspaper, the Virginia State Board of Elections is concerned that voters who show up without proper identification will have to cast a provisional ballot that won't be counted until they can produce information confirming them as a registered voter.
The deadline for producing appropriate ID is Friday, but the actual counting of provisional ballots could go on for a week after Election Day. That's the case as well in a number of other battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida.
According to the Times-Dispatch, about 4,575 provisional ballots were cast in the 2008 election, but in Ohio the figure was more than 200,000. Both states are considered crucial this year to President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney and a victory in either one could end up determining the next occupant of the White House.
Nationwide, more than 2.1 million provisional ballots were cast four years ago, the Times-Dispatch reported, citing a survey by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

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