September 16, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) - The presidential election is Nov. 6, but it could take days to determine the winner if the vote is close, thanks to new voting laws that will probably increase the number of people who have to cast provisional ballots in key states.
Tight races for Congress, governor and local offices also could be stuck in limbo while election officials scrutinize ballots.
Voters cast provisional ballots for a variety of reasons: They don't bring proper ID to the polls; they fail to update their voter registration after moving; they try to vote at the wrong precinct; or someone challenges their right to vote.
These voters may have their votes counted, but only if election officials verify that they were eligible to vote, a process that can take days or weeks.