Poll Watcher Form email to email@example.com
WHAT IS A POLL WATCHER?
A poll watcher is someone who is asked by a candidate, political party or political committee to observe the election process at a polling place or early voting area. Their role is to watch for any violations of election laws and report them to the clerk of the election board.
WHO MAKES UP THE ELECTION BOARD?
The clerk is in charge of the precinct and supervises the inspectors and the deputy. The inspectors assist the voters. The deputy is responsible for maintaining order and the enforcement of solicitation laws.
WHAT QUALIFICATIONS ARE NEEDED TO BECOME A POLL WATCHER?
In St. Lucie County, a poll watcher must be a registered voter of the county. Candidates, political parties and political committees must designate their poll watchers in writing before noon on the second Tuesday before the election. For early voting areas, the designations must be submitted to the Supervisor of Elections at least 14 days before early voting begins.
WHERE DOES THE POLL WATCHER GET AUTHORITY AND APPROVAL?
A poll watcher’s authority comes from Florida Statute 101.131. The Supervisor of Elections must approve or disapprove poll watcher applications for early voting no later than 7 days before early voting begins. Poll watchers for Election Day polling rooms must be approved or disapproved by the Tuesday before the election. The Supervisor of Elections must provide each election board with a list of approved poll watchers for early voting areas or polling rooms
WHO CANNOT BE A POLL WATCHER?
A candidate, sheriff, deputy sheriff, police officer, or any law enforcement officer is not allowed to serve as a poll watcher.
HOW MANY POLL WATCHERS ARE ALLOWED IN A POLLING PLACE?
Each candidate, political party and political committee may designate one poll watcher in each early voting area or polling place at any one time during the election.
WHAT CAN’T THE POLL WATCHER DO?
A poll watcher must not interfere with or impede the conduct of an election. They should not come closer to the official’s table or voting booths than is necessary. Poll watchers are not allowed to speak to voters or inspectors unless they observe something questionable. All questions must be directed to the clerk of the election board.
DOES THE POLL WATCHER NEED ANYTHING?
The poll watcher is responsible for supplying any necessary items or materials he or she will need at the polling place that day.
WHAT ARE THE PRIVILEGES OF BEING A POLL WATCHER?
The main role of a poll watcher is to observe what happens at the polling room. They have the right to see that the ballot box is empty before the first ballot is cast. They can also observe the distribution of ballots to voters and the depositing of ballots into the Accu-Vote machine from a reasonable distance. If a poll watcher observes what they believe to be a violation, they can challenge a voter’s right to vote by stating their case to the election board. The challenge must be put in writing with an oath of a Person Entering Challenge according to Florida Statute 101.111. After all ballots have been cast, the poll watcher may observe the closing procedures at the polls.
Authority in the polling place: The Election Board and the Supervisor of Elections Office Staff are the primary authorities at the polling place on Election Day. They are the only ones permitted to handle election supplies and materials.
Role of poll watchers: Poll watchers are individuals who can be present at the polling place to observe the conduct of the election. Their primary purpose is to ensure the integrity and fairness of the election process. However, they are observers only and can't interact with voters.
Appointment of poll watchers: Poll watchers must be officially approved and listed by the Supervisor of Elections office. This approval is given based on a request by a candidate, political party, or political committee. Upon entering a polling place, poll watchers must identify themselves to the precinct Clerk, who will verify their identity against the approved list.
Restrictions on poll watchers: Poll watchers can't come too close to the officials' table or voting booths, and can't interact directly with voters. All queries they have must be directed to the precinct Clerk. Poll watchers also can't wear anything that advertises a candidate or advocates for or against an issue. Campaigning is prohibited within the polling place and within 150 feet of the polling place entrance during voting hours.
Challenging a voter's right: If a poll watcher challenges a voter's eligibility, the precinct Clerk will deliver a copy of the challenge oath to the voter, who will then be allowed to cast a provisional ballot. Frivolous challenges can lead to misdemeanor charges. However, poll watchers or electors are not liable for any actions taken in good faith.
Role of the Supervisor of Elections: This person is tasked with fostering a greater understanding of, and participation in, the electoral process. For more detailed information about election laws and procedures, individuals are encouraged to contact the Supervisor of Elections.