If an individual declares that such individual is a registered voter in the jurisdiction in which the individual desires to vote and that the individual is eligible to vote in an election for Federal office, but the name of the individual does not appear on the official list of eligible voters for the polling place or an election official asserts that the individual is not eligible to vote, such individual shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot as follows:
(1) An election official at the polling place shall notify the individual that the individual may cast a provisional ballot in that election.
(2) The individual shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot at that polling place upon the execution of a written affirmation by the individual before an election official at the polling place stating that the individual is—
(A) a registered voter in the jurisdiction in which the individual desires to vote; and
(B) eligible to vote in that election.
(3) An election official at the polling place shall transmit the ballot cast by the individual or the voter information contained in the written affirmation executed by the individual under paragraph (2) to an appropriate State or local election official for prompt verification under paragraph (4).
(4) If the appropriate State or local election official to whom the ballot or voter information is transmitted under paragraph (3) determines that the individual is eligible under State law to vote, the individual's provisional ballot shall be counted as a vote in that election in accordance with State law.
(5)(A) At the time that an individual casts a provisional ballot, the appropriate State or local election official shall give the individual written information that states that any individual who casts a provisional ballot will be able to ascertain under the system established under subparagraph (B) whether the vote was counted, and, if the vote was not counted, the reason that the vote was not counted.
(B) The appropriate State or local election official shall establish a free access system (such as a toll-free telephone number or an Internet website) that any individual who casts a provisional ballot may access to discover whether the vote of that individual was counted, and, if the vote was not counted, the reason that the vote was not counted.
States described in section 20503(b) of this title may meet the requirements of this subsection using voter registration procedures established under applicable State law. The appropriate State or local official shall establish and maintain reasonable procedures necessary to protect the security, confidentiality, and integrity of personal information collected, stored, or otherwise used by the free access system established under paragraph (5)(B). Access to information about an individual provisional ballot shall be restricted to the individual who cast the ballot.
The appropriate State or local election official shall cause voting information to be publicly posted at each polling place on the day of each election for Federal office.
In this section, the term "voting information" means—
(A) a sample version of the ballot that will be used for that election;
(B) information regarding the date of the election and the hours during which polling places will be open;
(C) instructions on how to vote, including how to cast a vote and how to cast a provisional ballot;
(D) instructions for mail-in registrants and first-time voters under section 21083(b) of this title;
(E) general information on voting rights under applicable Federal and State laws, including information on the right of an individual to cast a provisional ballot and instructions on how to contact the appropriate officials if these rights are alleged to have been violated; and
(F) general information on Federal and State laws regarding prohibitions on acts of fraud and misrepresentation.
Any individual who votes in an election for Federal office as a result of a Federal or State court order or any other order extending the time established for closing the polls by a State law in effect 10 days before the date of that election may only vote in that election by casting a provisional ballot under subsection (a). Any such ballot cast under the preceding sentence shall be separated and held apart from other provisional ballots cast by those not affected by the order.
Each State and jurisdiction shall be required to comply with the requirements of this section on and after January 1, 2004.
(Pub. L. 107–252, title III, §302, Oct. 29, 2002, 116 Stat. 1706.)
Section was formerly classified to section 15482 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section.