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Staff from the Montgomery County Voter Services Office review each provisional ballot envelope and make an eligibility determination of whether the provisional ballot should be counted.
An equal number of representatives from the Republican and Democratic parties observed the review of each Provisional Ballot. These representatives were selected by their respective parties.
Challenges were made between Thursday, November 5, 2020 and November 10, 2020 as Provisional Ballots were processed.
There are a few reasons why a Party Appointed Poll Watcher challenged a ballot. Representatives are able to make multiple challenges on one ballot. Here is a list of the most frequently cited challenges::
Mail In/Abs Ballot: This challenge was made against any provisional ballot that was issued to a voter who had applied for a mail in or absentee ballot and was unable to, or did not, surrender the mail in or absentee ballot at their polling location. This challenge was withdrawn because PA Election Code states that a Provisional Ballot can be issued for this reason. These ballots can now be counted.
No Reason: On every Provisional Ballot Envelope there is a section where the Judge of Election designates a reason for issuing the Provisional Ballot. Any ballot without a reason was challenged. This challenge was withdrawn because the voter should not be disenfranchised for a mistake made by election staff. These ballots can now be counted.
No signature: On the Provisional Ballot Envelope, there are two places where a voter must sign. Those with one or both signatures missing were challenged. This challenge was partially withdrawn - Provisional Ballot Envelopes with at least one signature from the voter can be counted; but those where the voter did not sign at all will not be counted.
Already Voted: This challenged was raised if a voter’s voting record indicated that they had already cast a ballot (mail-in, absentee, or in-person). This challenge was upheld - voters who voted using either a standard ballot, mail-in ballot, or absentee ballot will not have their Provisional Ballots counted. This does not indicate any wrong-doing by the voter.
Missing JOE signature: This challenge was raised if the Judge of Elections did not sign the Provisional Ballot Envelope. This challenge was partially withdrawn - if the Provisional Ballot Envelope was signed by at least one member of the election staff, the ballot will be counted.
Missing Minority Inspector signature: This challenge was raised if the Minority Inspector did not sign the Provisional Ballot Envelope. This challenge was partially withdrawn - if the Provisional Ballot Envelope was signed by at least one member of the election staff, the ballot will be counted.
Missing Printed Name: This challenge was raised if the voter did not print their name on the Provisional Ballot Envelope. This challenge was partially withdrawn - as long as the Voter Services staff is able to identify the voter using other means (address, date of birth etc) the Provisional Ballot can be counted.
Missing date: This challenge was raised if the voter did not write the date in section 4 of the Provisional Ballot Envelope. This challenge was withdrawn. These ballots can now be counted.
Incorrect Date: This challenge was raised if the voter did not write the correct date in section 4 of the Provisional Ballot Envelope. This challenge was withdrawn. These ballots can now be counted.
Once all challenges are resolved, approved Provisional Ballots can be incorporated into the ballot count. Those coded as “Full Credit” will have every candidate selection incorporated into the ballot count. Those labeled as “Partial Credit” will only have some candidate selections incorporated into the ballot based on the residency of the voter. For example, if you were issued a Provisional Ballot because you arrived at the wrong location, you may have voted in a General Assembly race that was inappropriate based on where you live. Your selections for Federal and Statewide races (such as President and Attorney General) would be incorporated into the count.
Yes! We supply Sharpie pens to all precincts for the voter to use to fill out their ballot. Sharpie pens are recommended by our voting machine vendor and have been used in past election.
The scanner at the polling location reads your ballot, and would alert you if something was incorrect. Once the scanner at the polling location accepts your ballot, your vote has been cast!