Processing Provisional Voters: You Spoke, We Listened

Orange County
Registrar of Voters
Orange County Poll Worker Insights

Poll workers this June will see a new and improved system in place for processing provisional voters. Gone are the multiple rosters and envelopes, replaced by a single envelope with clear instructions. The Registrar of Voters has changed the way poll workers process provisional voters, drawing on suggestions from poll workers to help simplify the voting process.

Poll worker feedback from previous elections indicated that poll workers wanted a simpler way to process provisional voters on Election Day. The Registrar of Voters responded to this feedback by putting together an internal committee of staff to review the process and recommend a new process that addressed poll worker concerns. This committee produced a new, single provisional envelope and tested the envelope extensively on staff, experienced Inspectors, and other County employees. After months of testing and revisions, the Registrar of Voters has created a new provisional process that is simpler, more logical, and more streamlined for both poll workers and voters.

What’s new about the process?

  • The blue provisional roster has been eliminated from the process. Poll workers no longer need to use this when processing a provisional voter. The only roster now used on Election Day is the pink Combined Roster-Index.
  • There now is only one envelope used for all provisional voters. The old provisional process used two different envelopes – one blue and one white – for provisional voters, depending on the voter’s situation. Now, all provisional voters use the same single envelope. Poll workers simply fill out different sections of the envelope depending on the reason the voter is casting a provisional ballot.
  • The new single envelope contains step-by-step instructions that walk both the voter and the poll worker through the process. The instructions make clear what portions the voter fills out, what portions the poll worker completes, and what information is on the envelope just for Registrar of Voters’ purposes.
  • The ballot card has also been eliminated from the process. Poll workers no longer have to write the precinct and party on the ballot card for provisional voters; this information now goes directly on the provisional voters’ envelope.

The new provisional process will be featured in our entire poll worker training this year and will be in place for the June 5th Primary Election. The poll workers that helped to test and develop the new provisional process found it to be much more streamlined and easy-to-use, and the Registrar of Voters is confident that poll workers are going to be pleased with the new changes.