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a lot of times voters think they are registered because they were registered in another county or their registration is outdated.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 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


Austin's phased process for moving people experiencing homelessness out of unregulated encampments will roll out through the summer. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
City officials detail homeless education and enforcement plan with Proposition B ordinances now in effect

The process that will eventually remove the city's homeless encampment begins this month with outreach and warnings and will stretch until late summer with full enforcement.

Residents will have until May 2023 to obtain a Real ID. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
US Department of Homeland Security extends Real ID deadline until 2023

Drivers will have until May 2023 to get the Real ID, which will be required for adults boarding a U.S. commercial flight.

Susan Bailey was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020. (Courtesy American Medical Association)
'I am convinced we will beat COVID': American Medical Association President Susan Bailey discusses vaccine successes, myths, challenges

Bailey was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020. Much of the organization's focus during that time has been on vaccine transparency and distribution.

Valentina’s offers breakfast and lunch tacos as well as barbecue. (Courtesy Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ)
South Austin's Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ will move to Buda in next year

The business announced it will be moving within the next year.

Under the city of Austin's phased enforcement plan released May 10, citations at public encampments will begin in mid-June to be followed by arrests and clearances in July as necessary. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin's homeless ordinances back on books May 11, but arrests, camp clearings won't start until July

Austin announced a "phased process" to introduce Proposition B ordinances beginning with one month of outreach followed by one month of warnings and citations before arrests or clearances begin as necessary.

Pfizer vaccines could become available to kids 12 and up as soon as next week. (Courtesy Adobe Stock/Graphic by Justin Howell/Community Impact Newspaper)
FDA expands Pfizer vaccine authorization to children ages 12 to 15 years old

This is the first time people under the age of 16 have been granted access to a coronavirus vaccine.

Butler Park Pitch & Putt reopened to the public in April. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Butler Park Pitch & Putt reopens in Austin; turf fields open in Pflugerville and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

I-35 traffic
State now accepting public input on North Austin I-35 overhaul project

The public now has the ability to review and provide feedback on planning materials for a $400 million I-35 project.

Austin Bouldering Project currently operates a gym on Springdale Road in Austin. (Courtesy Austin Bouldering Project)
Local rock-climbing gym to open new location in South Austin this fall

The new gym will have comparable offerings to the original in East Austin.

Tents have become a common sight throughout Austin including along Cesar Chavez Street downtown, but with the passage of Proposition B the city may now consider moving unsheltered homeless individuals to designated sites. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Hall notebook: Designated campsites for the homeless are back on the table

City staff had previously dismissed developing official camping locations in 2019, but new directives from City Council this week could revive the concept in Austin.

Wag-A-Bag is headquartered in Round Rock. (Megan Cardona/Community Impact Newspaper)
Wag-A-Bag to operate under new ownership, name; Austin, TxDOT at odds over I-35 overhaul; and more top Central Texas news

Read the most popular business and community news from the past week from the Austin area.