A poll watcher is a volunteer who is a citizen. Texas law requires that a poll watcher be a registered voter within the county in which he/she serves.
WHAT DOES A POLL WATCHER DO?
A poll watcher sits in a polling location and observes the election activities. The poll watcher documents any discrepancies that he or she observes and reports any such problems to the election judge or to our help line.
WHAT ARE VOTING DISCREPANCIES? HOW DO I KNOW WHAT TO DO?
You will be trained and provided with a checklist that describes the different types of discrepancies or irregularities. All you have to do is document the time of the occurrence and a description of what you saw. This will all be included in the training process. You will also be given a manual with additional detail that you can take with you into the poll location.
Training will take place approximately 3 weeks before the election starts. It will take only about 3 hours of your time. All assignments require two poll watchers at each location. You will have a teammate and access to a help line you can call if you have any questions during your watch period.
HOW MANY HOURS OR DAYS MUST I VOLUNTEER FOR?
Each volunteer will work 6-hour shifts. At least two shifts would be required for each trained volunteer. Ideally, we would like each volunteer to do three or more shifts, but every bit helps.
WHERE DO I HAVE TO GO TO POLL WATCH?
Once we have all the volunteers identified, we will allocate them based on the information we are provided. We will ask each person to indicate what days and hours they are available to help. Are you available to work only in your own precinct or will you be willing to work in an adjacent precinct…or even to work anywhere you are needed?
Based on your input, volunteers will be assigned a specific precinct, a date and time. If something comes up so that you can’t make you committed session, just call the help line and we will try to find someone to take your place. We plan to have a handful of people who can serve anywhere as replacements when a volunteer informs us at the last minute that he or she cannot serve in the designated time/location slot.
By volunteering, you will help us prevent fraud. From your notes and observations, we will be able to identify flaws in the process and work with the appropriate government officials to have them corrected.
It is easy to do and none of us want fraud taking place in our own back yard. Remember, every improper vote cast has the potential to cancel YOUR vote.
It also has a major impact on the election process and sends a message to anyone thinking about cheating that we are watching. Much like the presence of a policeman makes us check our speed, the presence of a poll watcher makes those in and around the poll ensure that they are following the law. Just your presence will make a major difference.