So after the initial rush of indignation and anger I have done quite a bit of research and got the message from my son that no voting official told him that he would get a provisional ballot. He registered at a campus event, and nobody there would have been able to do that anyway. What really happened was that after he registered, he found out about an issue that could still in fact keep him from voting.
The attempt to force database matches on demographic data is something our attorney general has been trying to get done. In fact he filed a law suit trying to force this to happen, which would have put most new registrations, and many registrations for people who have moved after previously voting, on the provisional list. For all the reasons I pointed out in my first post on this, this is a really silly idea. The likelyhood of false matches is so high that no respectable computer pro would ever recommend it.
However today, the law suit was thrown out.