What 'provisional ballots' are and why it takes time to count them

NBC News

"I'm not sure I've ever heard of an election turning on provisionals," said Paul Smith, a veteran elections lawyer and the vice president of the Campaign Legal Center, a non-partisan non-profit. "The traditional assumption is that most provisional ballots are cast by Democrats...but that may not be this situation," said Smith. "We've never had an election like this, and it's really hard to extrapolate from past elections the partisan makeup of this group of people — and it's a lot of people."

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