Each political party which has candidates in the election, any citizen's organization interested in a question on the ballot or interested in preserving the purity of elections and in guarding against abuse of the elective franchise, or any candidate in the election may appoint poll watchers.
How are Poll Watchers appointed?
All appointments of poll watchers must be in writing and signed by the persons or organizations authorized to make the appointment. The county election commission may require organizations to produce evidence that they are entitled to appoint watchers. The name of all poll watchers must be submitted to the county election commission no later than twelve o'clock (12:00) noon of the second working day before the election.
Each Political Party and Citizen's Organization may have two (2) watchers at each polling place including Early Voting locations and during the counting of absentee ballots. One (1) of the watchers representing a party may be appointed by the chair of the county executive committee of the party and the other by a majority of the candidates of that party running exclusively within the county in which the watchers are appointed. If the candidates of a party failed to appoint the watchers by twelve o'clock (12:00) noon on the third day before the election, the chair of the county executive committee of the party may appoint both watchers representing the chair's party.
Each candidate in primary elections and each independent candidate in general elections may appoint one (1) or more poll watchers for each polling place including Early Voting locations and during the counting of absentee ballots. However, at any given time, each such candidate shall have not more than one such poll watcher on duty at each polling place.
Candidates in a general election may appoint one (1) or more poll watchers for each polling place including Early Voting locations and during the counting of absentee ballots. However, at any given time, each such candidate shall have not more than one (1) such poll watcher on duty at each polling place.
Poll Watcher Responsibilities
When the poll watcher arrives at the polling place, he or she must immediately display their appointment to the officer of elections and sign the register of watchers. Watchers shall wear poll watcher badges with their names and their organization's name (no candidate's name or campaign material advocating voting for candidates or positions on questions may be worn). Poll watchers may:
• Be present during all proceedings at the polling place governed by the election code.
• Watch and inspect the performance in and around the polling place of all duties of election officials governed by the election code.
• Challenge any person who offers to vote in the election. The challenge may only be done through the precinct Judges.
• Inspect all ballots while they are being called and counted and all tally sheets and poll lists during preparation and certification.
• May protest any aspect of the conduct of the election. Such protest must be presented to the Officer of Elections or to the county election commission or to an inspector. The Officer of Elections or county election commission shall promptly rule upon the presentation of any protest and take any necessary corrective action.
Restrictions on Poll Watchers
No Poll Watcher may interfere with any voter in the preparation or casting of their ballot or prevent the election officials from performing their duties.
No Poll Watcher may observe the giving of assistance in voting to a voter who is entitled to such assistance.
Poll Watchers observing the duties of the absentee counting board shall not leave the room or place of counting after the actual counting of the ballots has begun. Additionally, they are prohibited from possessing any electronic device, including a cellular telephone or pager, capable of transmitting election results to a location outside the room where the ballots are being tabulated.