SB 216 Passed Limits Provisional Ballots

SB 216, which was passed by the legislature and was signed by the Governor likewise requires that every field on a provisional ballot affirmation form be filled out completely--including newly required information or it will be rejected. One positive development is that, for voters who do not appear on the rolls, under SB 216 a provisional ballot affirmation form will be able to double as a voter registration form, so that provisional voters who upon review are not on the rolls will be registered.  Those that cast a provisional ballot at the wrong table at a precinct will still have their ballot counted.  There will only be seven days to confirm your identity after the election down from 10 days. 

The bills sponsors argued that it would not reduce the number of provisional ballots that would count.  Those opposed to the change including Rep. Kathleen Clyde of Kent said that it would make it harder to count people's vote and therefore it was another example of voter suppression activities.  It seems that technical reasons to exclude provisional ballots can only reduce the number of provisional ballots that count. There were attempts to add language that would bring the bill in line with federal protections against excluding ballots for technical reasons and allowing ballots if the voter was misled by an elections official.  Both provisions were tabled.

The League of Women Voters put together a one page sheet which describes all the changes that took place.  You can print this out and distribute it.