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Poll Observer Goals, Requirements, Privileges and Responsibilities.

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Presentation on theme: "Poll Observer Goals, Requirements, Privileges and Responsibilities."— Presentation transcript:

1 Poll Observer Goals, Requirements, Privileges and Responsibilities

2 Categories of Observers Observers at an In-Person Absentee Voting Location (early voting) Observers at a Board of Elections Office prior to the Official Canvass of the cast votes Observers at Precincts on Election Day Recount Observers Election Audit Observers

3 Requirements All observers (except recount observers) must be qualified electors in the State of Ohio Observers do not need to be registered to vote in the particular county where they will observe Persons not eligible include: Uniformed peace officer, uniformed state highway patrol trooper, Uniformed member of any fire department, uniformed member of the armed services or the organized militia, no person wearing any other uniform and no candidate unless the candidate is also a member of the party controlling committee An observer may not accept compensation from a county, city, village or township for serving as an observer For observers on election day, a judge of elections must administer the oath

4 Who can be in the voting area during voting? Voters Children under 18 accompanying a parent to vote Person (s) assisting voters at voter’s request Person’s checking the precinct voter registration lists Observers with a certificate of appointment State and Federal Election Inspectors Peace Officers appointed by Presiding Judge (PJ) to preserve order Board of Election members/representatives Credentialed members of the media

5 Objectives of the poll observer The primary mission of an observer is observation & documentation Be professional in speech and body language Tone of voice says more than words chosen Avoid being dismissed as “Disruptive” Know your reference materials - highlight areas of importance in your manual prior to observing ie. acceptable identification Ask Presiding Judge to deal with hostile persons Dealing with errors by the Presiding Judge –Politely point out correct action from reference materials –If not corrected, document and call the BOE hotline

6 Appointment of Observers Certificate of Appointment Observers must be appointed by an appointing authority –a political party –a group of 5 or more candidates –committee for /against a Ballot Issue

7 Privileges of the Observer The Observer must be permitted to: -Observe and document all election activities -Make written notes while on duty -Point out major problems to the Presiding Judge -Make requests of the Presiding Judge -Step outside to make phone calls -Witness closing of the polls and canvassing

8 Rules for Observers Shall serve during the casting of the ballots and during the counting of the ballots No more than one Observer per candidate in the poll at any time and must serve from the time the poll opens until it closes Committees for/against a ballot issue may collectively appoint up to 6 Observers to watch the ballot count Candidates in groups of five may appoint observers who are permitted to work in shifts and rotate to different sites on election day or for early voting Observer is permitted in and about the polling place during the casting of ballots and is permitted to watch, listen and to make notes about every proceeding of the precinct election Observer is also permitted to inspect the counting of all ballots in the polling location or at the BOE The precinct election officials shall protect Observers from molestation and violence while serving in the poll

9 Rules for Observers - continued BOE to be notified not less than 11 days before the election of name and address of any appointed Observer Observer to have properly completed, signed Certificate of Appointment of Observer (form 215, 217 or 220) presented to Presiding Judge (PJ) on Election Day or the previous day (If not accepted, ask PJ to write, sign and date a note with reason for rejection Observer to take the Observer Oath from one of the precinct officials Should turn cell phone off Clear with PJ your physical location and proximity to all critical areas before beginning work May stay at the polling locations until election officials complete their duties

10 Observer May Not: Possess any recording device Wear anything for or against any candidate, party or position (clothing, buttons, stickers, etc.) Make voice calls inside the voting area Photograph poll lists Interact with any precinct election official or voter while Observer is inside the polling location and the 100ft no-electioneering zone or within 10ft of any voter waiting to vote Incidental interaction between Observers and poll election officials or voters is permitted, not advised Talk while election is in progress except to challenge, point out an irregularity, or make a request of the Presiding Judge Handle any official election documents

11 Training Please refer to the poll worker training for the information on Election laws and election rules that every observer must know Observer training will be available on our website through True the Vote by the end of August.

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