New voting laws in key states could force a lot more voters to cast provisional ballots this election, delaying results in close races for days while election officials scrutinize ballots and campaigns wage legal battles over which ones should get counted.

New laws in competitive states like Virginia, Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin could leave the outcome of the presidential election in doubt — if the vote is close — while new laws in Kansas, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee could delay results in state or local elections.

Some new laws requiring voters to show identification at the polls are still being challenged in court, adding to the uncertainty as the Nov. 6 election nears.

These voters may have their votes counted, but only if election officials can verify that they were eligible to vote, a process that can take days or weeks. Adding to the potential for chaos: Many states won’t even know how many provisional ballots have been cast until sometime after Election Day.

 

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