Nov. 14, 2013
... no, it isn’t fair to say each provisional ballot amounts to a problem.
A problem would be if the correct process wasn’t followed during the election. Our director of elections and his team worked very hard to get correct information to the counties and poll workers and we had very few reports of any confusion or issues on what the acceptable forms of ID were or how to apply the information we gave.
Please remember that provisional ballots are a federal requirement under the Help American Vote Act of 2002. All voters who show up at the polls are offered at least the opportunity to vote provisionally. That means that no voter is turned away from the polls because of the need for an acceptable form of photo ID. Here in Texas, if a voter shows up at the polls with an expired driver’s license or without any of the seven acceptable forms of ID, they will at least get a provisional ballot—meaning that they can still exercise their right to vote under the available circumstances. The voter then has a reasonable amount of time (six days; seven in this last election) to cure their vote and have it counted after going to the county registrar’s office and showing an acceptable form of photo ID to prove who they are. It’s also important to note that not every provisional ballot is necessarily the result of the photo ID requirement.
From: Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin) [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 14, 2013 2:29 PM
To: Jeff Hillery
Subject: RE: Statesman reporter
Is it fair to say each ballot amounts to a problem? If not, how does the SOS interpret/characterize these?