CINCINNATI, Ohio (CNN) - Some judges at polling precincts in Ohio were issuing provisional ballots in error because they were confused about whether state drivers' licenses with outdated addresses could be used as proof of identification, Hamilton County Board of Elections Director Sally Krisel confirmed Tuesday.
"They are nervous, so they have them vote by provisional ballot," Krisel said of the judges who were not aware of an Ohio law that mandates that drivers' licenses can be used as proof of identification and address, even if the address does not match the voter's current address.
Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Community Outreach coordinator Kim Bartlett says the same thing is occurring in her county.
"If I move, I'm not required to get a new drivers license with a new address, she explained Tuesday. "Licenses are good for four years, even if they don't have a valid address, its still considered valid proof of ID."
Both the Hamilton County and Cuyahoga County Board of Elections say they were engaged in outreach efforts throughout election day to explain the rules on provisional ballots to confused poll workers.
Ohio State University law professor said he had also heard some complaints about voters being forced to use the provisional ballot but it was too early to tell if this was a systematic, statewide problem.
"Ohio's provisional voting laws are unbelievably complicated, he added. "There are 14 separate reasons why a voter should vote on a provisional ballot. I'm a law professor and I can't keep them in my head. We can't expect poll workers to implement these rules flawlessly."
Provisional ballots are issued in Ohio when a voter's identity cannot be verified because the voter does not have proper identification, no identification, or is using the last four digits of the social security number as proof of identification. Voters with an address change or name change are also required to vote by provisional ballot. Voters are required to provide proof of identification within ten days of the election, according to Krisel.
The ballots were mandated by Congress to ensure that no voter would be turned away from a polling place due to lack of identification. However, provisional ballots are normally counted after all official ballots are recorded, and are contestable. Experts say they could be decisive in a close race.
Krisel assured Ohio voters Tuesday that "all ballots will be counted" even if they were provisional.
But Democratic watchdog group, the Advancement Project, remained concerned.
"We are observing an excessive use of provisional ballots, and are wondering why," said lawyer Sheila Thomas on Tuesday. Candice Hoke of Cleveland State University's Center for Election Integrity said the reason could lie in problems with the voter databases themselves.
"Problems with voter registration records in database are leading to higher rates of provisional ballots than should be occurring."
Her monitors had received complaints that some voters had found themselves dropped from voter rolls due to hiccups with the voter registration databases that are not subject to federal certification systems for accuracy or security. They were therefore forced to vote by provisional ballot as well.