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Sat Oct 17, 2020, 08:13 PM

What to know about poll watchers in the 2020 election

Poll watchers are a regular feature of elections -- representatives of both sides reporting potential issues with voters to local officials while operating under strict guidelines.

But their potential role in the 2020 race has come under new scrutiny after Donald Trump called on his supporters to flock to polling locations.

During the first presidential debate, President Trump made allegations that poll watchers were blocked from entering voting locations in Philadelphia -- -- an allegation debunked by ABC News fact-checkers. Those "poll watchers" in fact were blocked from entering the early voting sites because certifications to observe the early voting process had not been issued for anyone, including the Trump campaign.

Trump's campaign is organizing Election Day poll watchers in key battleground states and calling the effort "Trump's Army", a force expected to be around 50,000. Critics say that the name of the group sounds militant, but organizers say they will just be quietly eyeballing voters and summoning attorneys when they think something is amiss.


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Reply What to know about poll watchers in the 2020 election (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Oct 17 OP
liberal N proud Oct 17 #1
iemitsu Oct 17 #2
dobleremolque Sunday #3

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Oct 17, 2020, 08:22 PM

1. I have done poll watching for years.

There were occasions where the republican official in charge would be hostile toward my presence. I would show them my credentials and give them the phone number to the county official and after the call they no longer would challenge me. Some were cooperative, some remained hostile.

Usually they wou ld realize I was only there to make sure everyone was allowed to vote even if by provisional ballots.

I would have to remind them from time to time that no one was allowed to enter the poll with campaign paraphernalia including shirts and hats.

Never was prohibited from entering the poll

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Oct 17, 2020, 08:40 PM

2. States with all mail in ballots don't have to deal with poll watchers.

The process is much more convenient and less costly.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sun Oct 18, 2020, 03:45 AM

3. In Arizona, only the Parties are allowed poll watchers. Campaigns are

not permitted to designate poll watchers.

A poll watcher must have a original letter signed by the county's Party chair, designating the watcher by name AND by precincts assigned to the watcher.

Even if they have the letter, a poll watcher cannot talk to voters, talk to poll workers, approach the privacy booths, or handle any paperwork. They can only talk to me, the Inspector.

As the lead poll worker, my designation is "inspector" and I work with a "Judge of the Opposite Party" (JOP) to perform the duties that have to be witnessed and signed off by both Parties; initial ballot inventory and reconciliation, sealing the ballot box, etc. Because I'm a Democrat, the JOP where I work is a Republican.

As "The Boss" in the precinct where I work, I place a chair where the poll watcher can sit and observe and, based on shitty behavior by watchers in the past (GOP ones....duh) I've started using blue painter's tape to mark a circle around the chair that the watcher is forbidden to cross once they are seated. I do it for Poll Watchers of both parties. But in all the years I've been an Inspector, I've only had one (D) watcher.

Anyone without the official letter is required to stay outside the clearly marked 75-foot limit from the polling place. If they don't or if they refuse a request to move to the other side of the 75-foot line, we are instructed to call the police.

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