Wed. Dec 7th, 2022


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Colorado hasn’t seen issues with poll watchers. Elections officials say it’s because of the rules in place. – The Denver Post

2 min read

The 2020 election has garnered more interest from Coloradans applying to be poll watchers ahead of Election Day, but that hasn’t necessarily translated to large groups of watchers at voting locations.

That’s because Colorado has statutes that regulate who can be an official poll watcher, Colorado elections officials say. Poll watchers have to apply through political parties, registered issue committees or unaffiliated candidates, and receive approved training and get certified.

While community members have been concerned about the prospect of partisan poll watchers showing up to voting sites and potentially intimidating voters, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said there haven’t been reports of that happening.

Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder George Stern said the counties welcome certified poll watchers and if they find people who aren’t following protocols, they would simply inform them of the rules. But so far in Jefferson County, he hasn’t seen that issue.

“We know it’s secure, but we want them to feel good about it, too,” he said of the ballot process.

Political parties can each assign one watcher to a voting center at a time during voting, so while the interest has gone up and the number of spots filled has increased, the total number allowed at any given time has not.

“We’ve had a huge amount of people reaching out and wanting to get involved,” said Joe Jackson, spokesman for the Colorado Republican Party.

Morgan Carroll, the Democratic Party chair, said the group has similarly seen larger interest in both poll watchers and election judges. “It’s kind of remarkable that we have had a historic number of applicants for poll watchers and election judges,” Carroll said. “It tells me people are really committed in this election cycle.”


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