By Alan Collins
MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) - If Tim James has any hopes of being in the runoff for the Republican nomination for governor, it may come down to provisional ballots.
"There are a large number of provisional votes across Alabama," James said.
Provisional ballots are cast if a voter is prevented from voting at a polling station. The voter may lack the proper identification. Not listed at that station or may have been challenged if a legal voter.
"The provisional ballot is when someone shows up at the polls with no identification," Barry Stephens with the Jefferson Co. Board of Registrars said.
James trails Robert Bentley by 208 votes for the runoff against Bradley Byrne.
There is a five o'clock deadline Friday to submit identification to the board of registrars. James believes there may be enough votes out there to make a difference. "From what we are hearing the number could be in the low thousands of the votes not being counted," James said.
Provisional ballots will be counted next week. The final results will be turned over the Republican Party which will then be submitted to Secretary of State's office. Once the votes are certified, it will be up to James to decide if he will call for and pay for a recount. "What we are going to do. We are going to wait on the Secretary of State's office, to tell us where the race is It's a long way from over," James said.
When it comes to counting provisional ballots, only a small portion ever is counted and make a difference. "Historically they do not. On average over the last few election cycles we have only counted about 20% of ballots cast," Stephens said.
James' next hope may be a finding a tabulation error of the vote. Monday there will be a canvassing of the votes by party representatives. Jefferson County Probate Judge Alan King says there is not much of finding a major error. "In the five election cycles there has not been in the canvassing process, there has not been any deviation in the vote totals," King said.
James remains resolute. "We will have to wait and see where the race is. Let's calm down. Be cool. Let's see where it stands," James said
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