Alabama Secretary of State gives guidelines for poll watchers

Alabama News

A sign reading “Vote Here” points toward a polling place in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

ALABAMA – Ahead of Election Day, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill sent out a few notes Friday for those interested in being poll watchers.

Under state law, any Alabama resident can be a poll watcher, but must be nominated by a party with a candidate on the ballot. County executive committees must in turn submit names of poll watchers, in writing, to polling place inspectors.

State law says poll watchers may:

  • Observe the conduct of the election
  • Monitor the preliminaries of opening the polls
  • Remain at the polling place throughout the election until results have been posted and machines are sealed
  • Observe ballots as they are counted
  • Observe absentee ballots and affidavits when they are called during the count
  • See all oaths administered and signed, the record of assisted voters, the list of qualified voters, poll lists, and any and all records made in connection with the election

Poll watchers may not disturb voters, attempt to influence voters, campaign for a candidate, or wear any campaign material (including) buttons while in the polling place.

Those interested in being poll watchers can call the following numbers based on their party of choice:

  • Democratic Party – (334) 262-2221
  • Republican Party – (205) 212-5900
  • Libertarian Party – (205) 328-8683
  • Independent Candidate Steve Whitmire (DeKalb County Only) – (256) 889-2500

Anyone who observes voter interference, intimidation, or manipulation at their polling place should report the incident online or call (334) 242-7210.

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