INSTRUCTIONS FOR POLL WATCHER DESIGNATIONS
(Sections 101.111, 101.131, 101.23, 102.031 (3), 102.141 (2) (a)- SB:90 addition, Fla. Stat.)
- Each political party and each candidate may have one poll watcher in each polling room during the early voting period and on Election Day.
- A political committee formed for the specific purpose of expressly advocating the passage or defeat of an issue on the ballot may have a designated poll watcher in each polling room during the early voting period and on Election Day.
- During each meeting of the county canvassing board, each political party and each candidate may have one watcher able to view directly or on a display screen ballots being examined for signature matching and other processes.
- The Supervisor of Elections shall provide each election board a list of the poll watchers designated and approved for each polling rooms and early voting areas.
- “Designation of Poll Watchers”, Form DS-125, must be submitted in writing and used to request designation of Poll Watchers. Separate forms must be submitted for designating Early Voting and Election Day Poll Watchers. Sufficient information concerning the potential Poll Watcher must be completed on the form so that the Supervisor of Elections can identify the person as a registered voter in Charlotte County.
- Form DS-DE 125 and any related attachments may be provided to the Supervisor of Elections by personal delivery, mail, fax, or email.
- The deadlines to submit a request for Poll Watcher designation:
For Early Voting (EV)--- Before noon at least 14 days before early voting begins
For Election Day (ED)--- Before noon of the second Tuesday preceding the election
- The Supervisor of Elections must approve eligible Poll Watchers for early voting no later than 7 days before early voting begins. The designation of poll watchers on election day must be approved on or before the Tuesday before the election.
- The Supervisor of Elections shall provide to each designated poll watcher an identification badge which identifies the poll watcher by name. Each poll watcher must wear his or her identification badge while performing her/his duties.
POLL WATCHER RULES
A Poll Watcher:
- Must be a qualified and registered elector (voter) of the county in which he or she serves
- Upon entering the polling site, must introduce himself/herself and present the certification letter to the precinct clerk who is responsible for the check in process.
- Each poll watcher must wear his or her identification badge while performing his or her duties
- Cannot be a candidate, sheriff, deputy sheriff, police officer, or other law enforcement officer
- Approved poll watchers may roam and are allowed in all polling locations within the county designated. However, each political party, candidate, or political committee may have only one poll watcher present at any one time in each polling room when the polls are open on Election Day or during designated early voting hours
- Must bring their own materials and necessities
- Are permitted to observe the conduct of the election. They may not, however, obstruct or interfere the orderly conduct of the election
- May observe the voter check-in process. They may not, however, come closer to the inspector’s table or the voting booths than is reasonably necessary to perform the poll watcher’s functions
- May not speak to or otherwise interact with voters inside the polling room
- Must pose any questions regarding polling place procedures to the clerk for resolution
- May submit written voter challenges to the precinct clerk
- Are not allowed to wear campaign buttons, shirts, hats, or other campaign items
May bring in and use mobile electronic devices in a non-disruptive way, for example:
- Devices must be set so as to produce no noise or a low volume vibration
- Devices may not be used to take photographs or recordings of any kind inside the polling room or early voting site
Poll watchers must always wear a mask/shield and social distance a minimum of 6 feet. (to be determined)