As provisional ballots become the centerpiece of the post-election day fight between Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams, let’s take a deeper look into what is a provisional ballot and how they get certified, counted, or thrown out.

Almost 60% of the 21,300 provisional ballots in this year’s election were clustered in the state’s most populated counties — Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, DeKalb, Chatham and Clayton. Those are the counties with large numbers of Democratic voters, a fact not lost among the Abrams campaign.

According to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, provisional voting allows a person to cast a ballot in person even if all the requirements for doing so cannot be met at the time. The provisional ballot will count if the problem is solved within three days after Election Day.

The three reasons for voting a provisional ballot are:

1. You are unable to show one of the required forms of photo ID when you vote in person;

2. When you first registered to vote in Georgia, you registered by mail, did not provide any identification at that time, and are unable to present acceptable identification the first time you vote in person; or

3. Your name does not appear on the list of registered voters in the precinct.

Example: If a voter was told to cast a provisional ballot on Election Day, you will have three days from the close of the polls to present acceptable identification to your county registrar office for your vote to count. That means, today by 5:00 PM, the voter must bring identification to verify and validate their vote.

If a person voted a provisional ballot because his/her name did not appear on the list of registered voters in the precinct, the county registrar has up to three days after the election to determine if that person was properly registered to vote in that election. If so, that person’s vote will count. If it’s determined that person is not eligible to vote in that election, that vote will not be counted, and the individual will be notified in writing.

If a person was eligible to vote but voted in the wrong precinct, only the votes for candidates for which they were entitled to vote will be counted, and the individual will be notified in writing that their ballot was partially counted for your correct precinct. In other words, if a person residing in Southwest Atlanta cast their ballot in Roswell, their vote for Governor will count but their vote in Georgia’s Sixth District election will be thrown out.

In federal elections only, if the polling lace is kept open after 7:00 PM because of a court order, anyone arriving after 7:00 PM will vote by provisional ballot. If the individual is eligible to vote and the order stands, that person’s vote will be counted.

Stickers are made available to voters who cast a ballot in the midterm elections at the Polk County Election Office on October 8, 2018 in Des Moines, Iowa. Today was the first day of early voting in the state. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...

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