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What Is Provisional Voting

Provisional voting exists in California for two fundamental reasons:
  • Provisional voting ensures that no properly registered voter is denied his/her right to cast a ballot if that voter's name is not on the polling place roster due to a clerical, processing, computer, or other error.
  • Provisional voting allows elections officials to ensure that no voter votes twice, either intentionally or inadvertently, in a given election.

Learn more about provisional voting.

Common Provisional Voting Instances

Following are common instances in which a voter would have to vote provisionally.
  • The voter's name was not on the roster at the polling place that s/he went to on Election Day.
  • The voter went to the wrong polling place.
  • The voter moved and did not notify the Elections Office before the election.
  • The voter was not registered in Nevada County.
  • The voter is a Vote by Mail voter who went to vote at the polls on Election Day and could not surrender his/her Vote by Mail ballot.
  • We want to ensure that voters only vote once, so if a Vote by Mail voter cannot surrender his/her Vote by Mail ballot at the polling place on Election Day, s/he has to vote provisionally so we can be sure that s/he did not already vote using his/her Vote by Mail ballot.

Provisional Ballots

If you are voting provisionally on Election Day, you will receive the ballot that coincides with your Nevada County residence address. All districts and measures that you can vote for will be on your ballot.

How Provisional Ballots Are Processed

The Nevada County Elections Office is dedicated to ensure accurate and fair elections. Therefore we process provisional ballots very thoroughly and carefully. For every provisional ballot we receive we verify the following:
  • The voter was registered to vote before the election
  • The voter resides in Nevada County
  • The voter did not vote at another polling place or with a Vote by Mail ballot for that election
When all of the provisional ballots are processed, we count all ballots that were valid. Determine if your provisional ballot was counted.