Travis County provisional ballot rejections stem from voter registration snafus

Nearly 4,300 provisional ballots were rejected in the November 2016 election. Here's why they might have rejected.

Nearly 4,300 provisional ballots were rejected in the November 2016 election. Here's why they might have rejected.

A few Travis County residents have raised concerns about why some provisional ballots were not counted in the November 2016 election.

A total of 477,588 overall ballots were cast in the November election. Nearly 6,000 of those votes were provisional ballots, and over 4,300 of those were rejected.

Provisional ballots are used to record a person’s vote when there are questions about a voter’s eligibility.

Michael Winn, director of elections for Travis County, said a voter can cast a provisional ballot if they don’t have the proper identification, if they are voting of out of their jurisdiction or if they cannot be found on the electoral roll.

Winn added those provisional ballots go through a process with the registrar’s office and are then sent to the ballot board. The ballot board makes the final decision on whether the vote will be accepted or rejected.

According to the Travis County Elections Division, of the 4,358 provisional ballots that were rejected in the November election, 44 rejected ballots were due to photo ID issues and 15 were because the voter was out of their assigned jurisdiction. The remaining 4,299 provisional ballots were rejected because a voter was not registered to vote in Travis County.

“When in doubt check yourself out,” Winn said. “Make sure you are registered to vote and get it in now.”

Gretchen Nagy, director of voter registration for Travis County, said a lot of times voters think they are registered because they were registered in another county or their registration is outdated. Some voters also run into identification issues.

Nagy said photo identification issues can be remedied. Voter have up to five days after the election to cure their vote. If voters can provide proper identification to the registrar’s office within that five-day period the vote can be cured.

She added registration issues can be avoided. Voter registration is accepted at any time throughout the year and up to 30 days before the election. The easiest way to check voter eligibility is online at www.votetravis.com. Voter registration applications can also be found on the Vote Travis website.

“We are always trying to find ways to make the process faster and easier for people,” Nagy said. “But this is the quickest way to do it.”

All other questions can be directed to the voter registration office at 512-854-9473 or email them at tax_office@traviscountytx.gov.


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