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Pollwatching Kit

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Download (1) suggested letter and protocol, (2) pollwatcher guidelines, (3) pollwatcher checklist, (4) supplemental problem log.

(To better understand the paid pollWORKERS' job, see this link.)


Pollwatching Kit for Committeepersons/Pollwatchers on Election Day


Download and print the forms above and place in a large envelope with a stamped envelope addressed to the sponsoring election integrity group.



To Pollwatchers and Committeepersons:


Enclosed are simple tools to help monitor this election, November 4, 2008


  1.  POLLWATCHER GUIDELINES: This needs to be shared by all shifts on Election Day. Do not remove guidelines from polling room. Use the guidelines to fill out the pollwatcher checklists.


  1.  POLLWATCHER CHECKLIST:  6 double-sided checklists per day recommended


  1.  SUPPLEMENTAL PROBLEM LOG: 3-6 double-sided copies suggested. 


 At end of Election Day, Committeeperson or designated pollwatcher should use the enclosed self-addressed, stamped envelope to return all completed materials, for the entire day, to: _________________________________(fill in the name of the local group monitoring your election in your County)

In Bucks County, mail to the Coalition for Voting Integrity, P.O. Box 536, Doylestown, PA 18901.


Thank you for your assistance. You can be proud to participate in a one-of-a-kind effort by pollwatchers to protect our vote. Your help is invaluable in this nonpartisan effort.


Name, address and phone number

 of sponsoring election integrity group:





HOW TO BE AN EFFECTIVE POLL WATCHER: A Pollwatcher Guideline  Following are the election integrity pollwatching tasks for Election Day, to encourage citizen ownership of elections and to increase accountability and transparency.                             


1. WATCH for campaigning within 10 feet of the polls: No political activity, no distribution of campaign literature; no pollworker or pollwatcher campaign buttons or apparel are allowed within these10 feet.


2. WATCH FOR CONSISTENCY between numbered lists of voters vs. machine counts, especially at end of day. The numbers should match.

3. WATCH FOR FLEEING VOTERS who didn’t press the Vote button correctly: Catch them before they leave the polling room and ask the voter to return and press the Vote button to finalize their voting choices.

4. WATCH FOR MALFUNCTIONING MACHINES (votes switching, fading, etc.)

5. WATCH FOR ANY MACHINE NOT WORKING, for however short a time.

6. WATCH FOR LONG LINES: Are voters waiting more than half an hour?

7. WATCH FOR APPROPRIATE USE OF EMERGENCY PAPER BALLOTS:  If a voting machine is inoperable, and not repairable or replaceable, then emergency paper ballots may be used, per
Pennsylvania law.  If all of a precinct’s voting machines malfunction, then emergency paper ballots MUST be used, per new State of Pennsylvania directive.

8. WATCH how voter situations are handled when names are not in the poll book (sign in book for voters). The Judge of Elections should be expected to call the Board of Elections for advice on any unresolved questions

After polls close, WATCH that absentee ballots are processed according to procedure, preserving privacy. WATCH to be sure the machine tape results match the recorded results on the canvass report.

When pollwatchers see problems, tell your Judge of Elections, who may contact the County Board of Elections for assistance. Local election protection lawyers are available also, as needed. Committee people should know how to contact these lawyers. To additionally register a complaint, call the local Coalition for Voting Integrity hotline: 215-589-1930. We’ll report problems to national hotlines: 1-866-OUR-VOTE and 1-866-MY-VOTE-1. Trust your instincts -- call if you see anything unusual. Fill out enclosed pollwatcher checklist [download at top of page] and mail to CVI, PO Box 536, Doylestown, PA 18901.