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Title IX SUFFRAGE AND ELECTIONS

 Chapter 115

previous next Effective - 28 Aug 2006bottom

  115.430.  Provisional ballots, used when, exceptions, procedure, counted when, how — rulemaking authority — free access system established — provisional ballot only used, when — no jurisdiction in state courts to extend polling hours. — 1.  This section shall apply to primary and general elections where candidates for federal or statewide offices are nominated or elected and any election where statewide issue or issues are submitted to the voters.

  2.  (1)  A voter claiming to be properly registered in the jurisdiction of the election authority and eligible to vote in an election, but whose eligibility at that precinct cannot be immediately established upon examination of the precinct register, shall be entitled to vote a provisional ballot after providing a form of personal identification required pursuant to section 115.427 or upon executing an affidavit under section 115.427, or may vote at a central polling place as established in section 115.115 where the voter may vote his or her appropriate ballot for his or her precinct of residence upon verification of eligibility or vote a provisional ballot if eligibility cannot be determined.  The provisional ballot provided to a voter under this section shall be the ballot provided to a resident of the voter's precinct determined by reference to the affidavit provided for in this section.  If the voter declares that the voter is eligible to vote and the election authority determines that the voter is eligible to vote at another polling place, the voter shall be directed to the correct polling place or a central polling place as established by the election authority pursuant to subsection 5 of section 115.115.  If the voter refuses to go to the correct polling place or a central polling place, the voter shall be permitted to vote a provisional ballot at the incorrect polling place, but such ballot shall not be counted if the voter was not eligible to vote at that polling place.

  (2)  The following steps shall be taken to establish a voter's eligibility to vote at a polling place:

  (a)  The election judge shall examine the precinct register as provided in section 115.425.  If the voter is registered and eligible to vote at the polling place, the voter shall receive a regular ballot;

  (b)  If the voter's eligibility cannot be immediately established by examining the precinct register, the election judge shall contact the election authority.  If the election authority cannot immediately establish that the voter is registered and eligible to vote at the polling place upon examination of the Missouri voter registration system, or if the election judge is unable to make contact with the election authority immediately, the voter shall be notified that the voter is entitled to a provisional ballot.

  (3)  The voter shall have the duty to appear and vote at the correct polling place.  If an election judge determines that the voter is not eligible to vote at the polling place at which a voter presents himself or herself, and if the voter appears to be eligible to vote at another polling place, the voter shall be informed that he or she may cast a provisional ballot at the current polling place or may travel to the correct polling place or a central polling place, as established by the election authority under subsection 5 of section 115.115, where the voter may cast a regular ballot or provisional ballot if the voter's eligibility still cannot be determined.  Provisional ballots cast at a polling place shall be counted only if the voter was eligible to vote at such polling place as provided in subsection 5 of this section.

  (4)  For a voter requesting an absentee ballot in person, such voter shall be entitled to cast a provisional ballot when the voter's eligibility cannot be immediately established upon examination of the precinct registers or the Missouri voter registration system.

  (5)  Prior to accepting any provisional ballot at the polling place, the election judges shall determine that the information provided on the provisional ballot envelope by the provisional voter is consistent with the identification provided by such person under section 115.427.

  3.  (1)  No person shall be entitled to receive a provisional ballot until such person has completed a provisional ballot affidavit on the provisional ballot envelope.

  (2)  The secretary of state shall produce appropriate sizes of provisional ballot envelopes and distribute them to each election authority according to their tabulating system.  All provisional ballot envelopes shall be printed on a distinguishable color of paper that is different from the color of the regular ballot.  The provisional ballot envelope shall be in the form required by subsection 4 of this section.  All provisional ballots shall be marked with a conspicuous stamp or other distinguishing mark that makes them readily distinguishable from the regular ballots.

  (3)  Once voted, the provisional ballot shall be placed and sealed in a provisional ballot envelope.

  4.  The provisional ballot in its envelope shall be deposited in the ballot box.  The provisional ballot envelope shall be completed by the voter for use in determining eligibility.  The provisional ballot envelope specified in this section shall contain a voter's certificate which shall be in substantially the following form:

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STATE OF ______
COUNTY OF ______
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that my name is ______; that my date of birth is ______; that the last four digits of my Social Security Number are ______; that I am registered to vote in ______ County or City (if a City not within a County), Missouri; that I am a qualified voter of said County (or City not within a County); that I am eligible to vote at this polling place; and that I have not voted in this election.
I understand that if the above-provided information is not correct and the election authority determines that I am not registered and eligible to vote, my vote will not be counted. I further understand that knowingly providing false information is a violation of law and subjects me to possible criminal prosecution.
__________________
(Signature of Voter)
__________________
(Current Address)
Subscribed and affirmed before me this ______ day of ______, 20______
__________________
(Signature of Election Official)

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The voter may provide additional information to further assist the election authority in determining eligibility, including the place and date the voter registered to vote, if known.

  5.  (1)  Prior to counting any provisional ballot, the election authority shall determine if the voter is registered and eligible to vote and if the vote was properly cast.  The eligibility of provisional votes shall be determined according to the requirements for a voter to cast a ballot in the election as set forth in sections 115.133 and 115.135.  A provisional voter ballot shall not be eligible to be counted until the election authority has determined that:

  (a)  The voter cast such provisional ballot at a polling place established for the voter or the central polling place established by the election authority under subsection 5 of section 115.115;

  (b)  The individual who cast the provisional ballot is an individual registered to vote in the respective election at the polling place where the ballot was cast;

  (c)  The voter did not otherwise vote in the same election by regular ballot, absentee ballot, or otherwise; and

  (d)  The information on the provisional ballot envelope is found to be correct, complete, and accurate.

  (2)  When the ballot boxes are delivered to the election authority from the polling places, the receiving teams shall separate the provisional ballots from the rest of the ballots and place the sealed provisional ballot envelopes in a separate container.  Teams of election authority employees or teams of election judges with each team consisting of one member of each major political party shall photocopy each provisional ballot envelope, such photocopy to be used by the election authority to determine provisional voter eligibility.  The sealed provisional ballot envelopes shall be placed by the team in a sealed container and shall remain therein until tabulation.

  (3)  To determine whether a provisional ballot is valid and entitled to be counted, the election authority shall examine its records and verify that the provisional voter is properly registered and eligible to vote in the election.  If the provisional voter has provided information regarding the registration agency where the provisional voter registered to vote, the election authority shall make an inquiry of the registration agency to determine whether the provisional voter is properly registered and eligible to vote in the election.

  (4)  If the election authority determines that the provisional voter is registered and eligible to vote in the election, the election authority shall provide documentation verifying the voter's eligibility.  Such documentation shall be noted on the copy of the provisional ballot envelope and shall contain substantially the following information:

  (a)  The name of the provisional voter;

  (b)  The name of the reviewer;

  (c)  The date and time; and

  (d)  A description of evidence found that supports the voter's eligibility.

  (5)  The local election authority shall record on a provisional ballot acceptance/rejection list the provisional ballot identification number and a notation marking it as accepted.

  (6)  If the election authority determines that the provisional voter is not registered or eligible to vote in the election, the election authority shall provide documentation verifying the voter's ineligibility.  Such documentation shall be noted on the copy of the provisional ballot envelope and shall contain substantially the following information:

  (a)  The name of the provisional voter;

  (b)  The name of the reviewer;

  (c)  The date and time;

  (d)  A description of why the voter is ineligible.

  (7)  The local election authority shall record on a provisional ballot acceptance/rejection list the provisional ballot identification number and notation marking it as rejected.

  (8)  If rejected, a photocopy of the envelope shall be made and used by the election authority as a mail-in voter registration.  The actual provisional ballot envelope shall be kept as ballot material, and the copy of the envelope shall be used by the election authority for registration record keeping.

  6.  All provisional ballots cast by voters whose eligibility has been verified as provided in this section shall be counted in accordance with the rules governing ballot tabulation.  Provisional ballots shall not be counted until all provisional ballots are determined either eligible or ineligible and all provisional ballots must be processed before the election is certified.  The provisional ballot shall be counted only if the election authority determines that the voter is registered and eligible to vote.  Provisional ballots voted in the wrong polling place shall not be counted.  If the voter is not registered but is qualified to register for future elections, the affidavit shall be considered a mail-in application to register to vote pursuant to this chapter.

  7.  (1)  After the election authority completes its review of the provisional voter's eligibility under subsection 5 of this section, the election authority shall deliver the provisional ballots and copies of the provisional ballot envelopes that include eligibility information to bipartisan counting teams, which may be the board of verification, for review and tabulation.  The election authority shall maintain a record of such delivery.  The record shall include the number of ballots delivered to each team and shall include a signed receipt from two judges, one from each major political party.  The election authority shall provide each team with a ballot box and material necessary for tabulation.

  (2)  If the person named on the provisional ballot affidavit is found to have been properly qualified and registered to cast a ballot in the election and the provisional ballot otherwise qualifies to be counted under the provisions of this section, the envelope shall be opened, and the ballot shall be placed in a ballot box to be counted.

  (3)  If the person named on the provisional ballot affidavit is found not to have been properly qualified and registered to cast a ballot in the election or if the election authority is unable to determine such person's right to vote, the envelope containing the provisional ballot shall not be opened, and the person's vote shall not be counted.  The members of the team shall follow the procedures set forth in subsection 5 of this section for rejected provisional ballots.

  (4)  The votes shall be tallied and the returns made as provided in sections 115.447 to 115.525 for paper ballots. After the vote on all ballots assigned to a team have been counted, the ballots, ballot envelopes, and copies of ballot envelopes with the eligibility information provided by the election authority shall be enclosed in sealed containers marked "Voted provisional ballots and ballot envelopes from the election held ______, 20______".  All rejected provisional ballots, ballot envelopes, and copies of ballot envelopes with the eligibility information provided by the election authority shall be enclosed in sealed containers marked "Rejected provisional ballots and ballot envelopes from the election held ______, 20______".  On the outside of each voted ballot and rejected ballot container, each member of the team shall write their name and all such containers shall be returned to the election authority.  Upon receipt of the returns and ballots, the election authority shall tabulate the provisional votes.

  8.  Challengers and watchers, as provided by sections 115.105 and 115.107, may be present during all times that the bipartisan counting teams are reviewing or counting the provisional ballots, the provisional ballot envelopes, or copies of the provisional ballot envelopes that include eligibility information provided by the election authority.  Challengers and watchers shall be permitted to observe the determination of the eligibility of all provisional ballots.  The election authority shall notify the county chair of each major political party of the time and location when bipartisan counting teams will be reviewing or counting the provisional ballots, the provisional ballot envelopes, or the copies of the provisional ballot envelopes that include the eligibility information provided by the election authority.

  9.  The certificate of ballot cards shall:

  (1)  Reflect the number of provisional envelopes delivered; and

  (2)  Reflect the number of sealed provisional envelopes with voted ballots deposited in the ballot box.

  10.  In counties where the voting system does not utilize a paper ballot, the election authority shall provide the appropriate provisional ballots to each polling place.

  11.  The secretary of state may promulgate rules for purposes of ensuring the uniform application of this section.  No rule or portion of a rule promulgated pursuant to the authority of this section shall become effective unless it has been promulgated pursuant to chapter 536.

  12.  The secretary of state shall design and provide to the election authorities the envelopes and forms necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.

  13.  Pursuant to the Help America Vote Act of 2002, the secretary of state shall ensure a free access system is established, such as a toll-free number or an internet website, that any individual who casts a provisional ballot may access to discover whether the vote of that individual was counted, and, if the vote was not counted, the reason that the vote was not counted.  At the time an individual casts a provisional ballot, the election authority shall give the voter written information that states that any individual who casts a provisional ballot will be able to ascertain under such free access system whether the vote was counted, and if the vote was not counted, the reason that the vote was not counted.

  14.  In accordance with the Help America Vote Act of 2002, any individual who votes in an election as a result of a court order or any other order extending the time established for closing the polls in section 115.407 may vote only by using a provisional ballot, and such provisional ballot shall be separated and held apart from other provisional ballots cast by those not affected by the order.  Such ballots shall not be counted until such time as the ballots are determined to be valid.  No state court shall have jurisdiction to extend the polling hours established by law, including section 115.407.

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(L. 2002 S.B. 675 § 1, A.L. 2003 H.B. 511, A.L. 2006 S.B. 1014 & 730)


---- end of effective   28 Aug 2006 ----

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