Voter ID Law Triggers 285 Provisional Ballots; Not All Count

285 Tennessee voters saw their ballots put on hold in the state primaries because they didn’t have proper photo ID under a new law – and some of those votes won’t be counted.

Voters without the required ID were instead allowed to cast provisional ballots. Those ballots were set aside, while voters had two days to come back with an ID to make them count

How many voters did so isn’t clear yet, but State Election Coordinator Mark Goins says some didn’t bother.

“Of course, some individuals may not return because their candidate won. If their candidate won they’re more likely to not return, or if there’s a wide margin separating those candidates.”

Goins also says impersonators trying to vote under an assumed name might not come back over a provisional ballot, noting the new law is meant to prevent voter fraud. Critics have argued that kind of fraud is more rare than being struck by lightning, and that the requirement might have steered some voters away, without even casting a provisional ballot.

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Goins says the 285 provisional ballots cast is miniscule given the more than 620 thousand Tennesseans that voted. For all the concerns over the new ID requirement, Goins says, “the sky didn’t fall.”

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