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Poll Watcher Information

Poll Watcher Information

Number: In Primary Elections, each candidate may have a single watcher in the voting place. In General Elections there may be only one watcher for each party or organization having nominees.

Appointment: In Primary Elections, a watcher must have a written appointment signed by a candidate. In General Elections, a watcher must have a written appointment signed by a designated representative of a political party. The watcher should surrender this appointment certificate to the Inspector for as long as he remains in the poll. If he plans to visit another precinct, he should ask that the certificate be returned so that he may present it to the next Inspector.

Oath: The watcher shall be sworn to faithfully observe the rule of law prescribed for the conduct of elections. Poll watchers do not have to be present before 7:00 A.M. in order to be sworn in to serve as a poll watcher, but should be promptly sworn in by the Inspector upon his or her arrival and presentation of the appropriate credentials. The Oath may be found on the back of the poll list.....the poll watcher would then be asked to sign under the oath.

Privileges: Generally speaking, poll watchers are allowed to inspect and observe all aspects of a poll’s operation. This includes, but is not limited to, observing the check-in process at the registration table, the execution of the poll list by voters, the distribution of ballots to voters, the circumstances relating to a provisional ballot, the circumstances relating to a spoiled ballot, checking the number of ballots registered on a ballot counter, verifying the total number of signatures on a poll list, and observing the vote tallying process at the end of the election day. However, poll watchers may not interfere with or impede the voting process.


  1. Poll watchers must not disturb or attempt to influence voters, campaign, or electioneer. They must not display buttons or other campaign materials for any candidate or cause.
  2. Poll watchers may not act as election officials.

Military and Overseas Voting Information
If you are on active duty in the United States Military or you have a family member on active duty or you are a U.S. citizen residing outside of the United States, please click here to learn additional information about your voting rights on the Secretary of State's website on Absentee Voting by Military and Citizens Overseas.