1. Why is the number of precincts shown on results greater than the number of polling places?
Software used to tabulate vote totals and produce reports assigns one precinct to absentee votes and one precinct to provisional votes in addition to one precinct for each polling place.
2. Why do results indicate percentages less than 100% of precincts reporting after Election Night?
The percentage refers to the percentage of precincts reporting, not the percentage of votes counted. Typically the number of outstanding ballots is very small compared to total votes cast.
Outstanding ballots may be provisional ballots or military ballots. Vote totals for the provisional voting precinct cannot be reported on Election Night because Election Officials have until 5:00 p.m. on Thursday following Election Day to research and determine if a provisional vote will count or not. In addition, military voters have up to three days after Election Day to return ballots, as long as they are postmarked by Election Day. Exception: If the third day falls on a holiday (Friday, November 11, Veteran’s Day), the deadline becomes the next business day (Monday, November 14). Typically the number of ballots involved is small and provisional and military ballots are tabulated at the same time.
3. What is a provisional ballot?
If it cannot immediately be determined at the polling place or absentee voting precinct that a voter is eligible to vote, that voter is allowed to vote a provisional ballot. Elections Officials have until 5:00 p.m. on the Friday following Election Day to research and determine if the vote will count. There are several reasons why a voter may cast a provisional ballot.
(1) A voter’s name may not appear on the Elector’s List, which is the list of voters eligible to vote in that election. This could be due to one of several factors, including the following:
(a) Voters believe they changed their registration when they moved into the County, but they are still registered in their previous County or State of residence.
(b) In municipal elections, voters believe they reside within municipal limits, but they do not.
(c) Voters registered when they renewed their Driver’s License but the Elections Office did not receive appropriate notice from Department of Driver’s Services.
(d) Voters moved into the County or City and changed their registration after the deadline for registering to vote or changing their name or address. Deadline is always the fifth Monday prior to Election Day, unless that Monday falls on a holiday.
(2) Voters may have registered to vote by mail for the first time in the State of Georgia and did not provide proper identification. These voters have until 5:00 p.m. on the Friday following Election Day to provide ID to the Elections Office in order for their ballots to be counted.
4. When do “Unofficial” results become “Official”?
Results do not become “Official” until all votes are counted, including provisional ballots and military ballots. This could take several days following Election Day, depending on holidays, when military ballots are received, and when provisional ballots are determined to be eligible to be counted.