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Secretary of State John H. Merrill Shares Guidance on Poll Watchers


Friday, October 9, 2020 – MONTGOMERY – In an effort to keep Alabama voters informed of proper Election Day procedures, Secretary of State John H. Merrill has shared the following guidance on poll watchers:

State law permits residents of Alabama to serve as poll watchers and requires they be nominated by a party with a candidate on the ballot. The name of each poll watcher shall be submitted in writing by the county executive committee or nominees for office to the polling place inspector, noting their appointment.

Anyone who is interested in becoming a poll watcher for the Democratic Party should call (334) 262-2221. Anyone who is interested in becoming a poll watcher for the Republican Party should call (205) 212-5900. Anyone who is interested in becoming a poll watcher for the Libertarian Party should call (205) 328-8683. Anyone in DeKalb County who is interested in becoming a poll watcher for Independent candidate Steve Whitmire should call (256) 899-2500.

In addition, poll watchers are encouraged to bring copies of the appointment letter with them to the polling place to avoid confusion or concern.

Per state law, poll watchers shall have the right to:

  1. Observe the conduct of the election.

  2. Monitor the preliminaries of opening the polls.

  3. Remain at the polling place throughout the election until the results of the election have been posted and the voting machines are sealed, as provided by law.

  4. Observe the ballots as they are counted.

  5. Observe absentee ballots and affidavits when they are called during the count.

  6. See all oaths administered and signed, the record of assisted voters, the list of qualified voters, the poll lists, and any and all records made in connection with the election.

Further, poll watchers may not disturb voters, attempt to influence voters, campaign, or display or wear any campaign material or buttons while inside any polling place.

Any voter who observes voter interference, intimidation, or manipulation in his or her polling location should report the incident at or call (334) 242-7210 if the problem persists.