Any voter in Madison County may challenge the right of any other voter of the county, whose name appears on the list of voters to vote in a primary or election. Grounds to challenge the right of a person to vote include, but not limited to, allegations that the person is not who he/she claims to be; that the person cast a ballot earlier on the primary or election day or by absentee ballot; that the person is not eligible to vote by reason of age, residence, or any other disqualifying circumstance.
The right to vote is protected by the United States Constitution. Accordingly, a person should not challenge another’s right to vote unless based upon facts known to the challenger.
- Must be in writing addressed to the Madison County Board of Elections and Registration (BOER) and specify distinctly the grounds of the challenge. It will not be adequate to sustain a challenge, if the challenger asserts nothing more than the voter is “not qualified to vote.”
- May be made at any time prior to the elector, whose right to vote is being challenged, voting at the voter's precinct.
- Must be made before 5:00 P.M. on the day of the primary or election if the challenged voter is voting by absentee ballot
- Must be made prior to a voter casting a ballot in person using the direct recording and electronic voting machine (DRE) unit during the early voting period prior to a primary or election.
Upon the receipt of such challenge, the chairperson of the BOER shall immediately consider such challenge and determine whether probable cause exists to sustain such challenge.
- Should the chairperson find there is no probable cause for such challenge, both the person being challenged and the voter making such challenge shall be notified in writing of such decision.
- Should the chairperson find there is probable cause for such challenge, the BOER shall conduct a hearing to determine the merits of the challenge. If practical, the challenged voter will be given the opportunity to speak to the BOER to answer the grounds of the challenge.
- If the BOER does not find probable cause, the challenge shall be denied.
- If the BOER finds probable cause prior to a primary or an election, notification shall be made to the challenged voter in writing.
- The BOER shall notify the poll officers of the challenged voter's precinct and of all early voting locations if the challenge has not been denied before the primary or election.
- If the challenged voter appears at the polls to vote and it is not possible for the BOER to conduct a hearing 0n the challenge prior to the close of the polls the challenged voter shall be permitted to vote a provisional ballot.
- If the challenged voter casts an absentee ballot, the BOER shall conduct a hearing on the challenge prior to the certification of the consolidated returns of the election. Such consolidated returns shall not be certified until the BOER has rendered its decision on the challenge.
Any voter may withdraw a challenge previously made and, unless the eligibility of the voter is challenged by another voter or by the BOER the challenge shall be resolved.
Provisional ballots cast by voters whose right to vote has been challenged are verified and counted after Election Day. Counting must be completed no later than 3 days after a Primary or General Election.
- If the BOER determines that the person casting a provisional ballot was not eligible or entitled to vote in such primary or election such ballot shall not be counted and the person whose provisional ballot was not counted shall be notified in writing that their ballot was not counted.
- If the BOER determines that the person casting a provisional ballot was eligible and entitled to vote in such primary or election such ballot will be counted and the person casting the provisional ballot shall be notified in writing that their ballot was counted.
The BOER recognizes a challenge to an individual’s right to vote is likely to be intimidating and confusing. If you know or believe that you have the right to vote at this primary or election at the time of the challenge, it is important for you to submit to the challenge procedure as required by law to ensure your right to cast a ballot.
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