Words nearby poll watcher
What is a poll watcher?
A poll watcher is a person who is officially assigned to observe a polling location on election day and report violations of laws or rules related to voting or campaigning.
In the United States, laws and rules regarding poll watchers vary by state. Generally, a poll watcher is a registered voter who is usually appointed by a political party or political campaign to ensure fairness for their party or candidate.
Such poll watchers observe the voting process, making sure all voters are following the law and the vote is being conducted properly. A poll watcher can challenge a voter’s eligibility to vote by bringing their concern to poll workers or election officials. However, poll watchers are prohibited from interfering in the voting process in any way. They are not allowed to watch someone vote, to count votes later, or to stop a person from voting. They can only report their concerns to poll workers or election officials.
Sometimes, poll watchers also attempt to keep track of voter lists in order to identify people who have not yet voted and who may support their party or candidate. Doing so allows them to tell campaign workers which voters could be contacted and encouraged to vote before the polls close.
In the U.S., interest in the meaning of the term poll worker and the role of poll workers has increased due to concerns about voter intimidation, which is illegal. Although official poll watchers are intended to prevent any unfair practices, some poll workers have been accused of intimidating people to prevent them from voting.
The term poll watcher is also sometimes used very loosely to refer to people who attempt to observe other voters for some reason—such as to prevent the perceived threat of voter fraud—despite not having been officially assigned to do so.
The practice of serving as a poll watcher or the collective action of poll watchers can be called poll watching. Poll watcher can also be spelled with a hyphen, as poll-watcher.
Example: There were a few poll watchers at the voting location keeping an eye on the process, but I didn’t see them interact with anyone.
Where does poll watcher come from?
The first records of the term poll watcher come from the 1890s. The first term, poll, is used to refer to a place where voting occurs (in this sense, it’s usually used in the plural form) or to the voting process. The word watcher refers to a person who is acting as an observer.
A poll watcher observes a polling location to make sure all laws and rules are being followed. Importantly, though, a poll watcher is only assigned to watch and reports problems to election officials. Otherwise, a poll watcher has no power or authority to take actions to affect how or if people vote.
The term and the role of poll watchers became the subject of increased scrutiny in 2020 when President Donald Trump during his reelection campaign encouraged his supporters to “be poll watchers” when visiting the polls on election day. He was criticized for seeming to encourage random voters to try to position themselves as poll watchers despite not having been officially assigned that role by a party or candidate, leading to concerns that such people would try to intimidate other voters.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to poll watcher?
- poll-watcher (alternate spelling)
What are some words that share a root or word element with poll watcher?
What are some words that often get used in discussing poll watcher?
How is poll watcher used in real life?
Poll watchers are often discussed in the context of the rules and laws intended to protect election fairness.
— Shelby Knox (@ShelbyKnox) November 4, 2015
Very crowded @ Central Christian, poll watcher told me he doesn't have the number of voters yet.
— Tajuana Cheshier (@TajuanaCheshier) August 7, 2014
Welp, I learned that my chances of being an election worker this year are pretty slim (29,000 applications for 11,000 positions) so I applied to be a poll watcher in Harris County for the Democratic Party. Who’s with me?
— Lacy M. Johnson (@lacymjohnson) September 26, 2020
Try using poll watcher!
Which of the following actions is a poll watcher not allowed to take?
A. Watching voters enter a polling place.
B. Counting voters who enter a polling place.
C. Stopping a person from voting.
D. Reporting a person who they think is not eligible to vote.
How to use poll watcher in a sentence
They created a force of “election defenders” who, unlike traditional poll watchers, were trained in de-escalation techniques.The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election|Molly Ball|February 4, 2021|Time
Boldface inserted to highlight Gingrich’s implication — that if there weren’t hordes of poll watchers, the people counting the votes in this Republican-controlled state would throw the elections to the Democrats.
The Republican Party, meanwhile, responded to the President’s requests by creating a multimillion-dollar effort to recruit 50,000 volunteers to act as “poll watchers” on Election Day.Voter intimidation, Russian influence, refusal to accept results: What could go wrong on Election Night|Nicole Goodkind|November 2, 2020|Fortune
As part of the group’s work, he and 25 other volunteers served as poll watchers in Virginia in 2017.How claims of voter fraud were supercharged by bad science|Bobbie Johnson|November 1, 2020|MIT Technology Review
While poll watchers are legal — and, in some states, can challenge individual voters’ eligibility at the polls on the basis of things like residency or citizenship — the job isn’t just a free-for-all for whoever happens to decide to show up.Fear Of Voter Intimidation Is Its Own Voter Intimidation|Maggie Koerth (email@example.com)|October 28, 2020|FiveThirtyEight
But so-called jungle primaries are notoriously hard to predict or poll.The Golden State Preps for the ‘Red Wedding’ of Senate Races|David Freedlander|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Most of it is taken up by a graphic inviting the visitor to participate in the 2016 online presidential straw poll.
The Pew poll also found most African Americans expect relations between police and minorities will actually get worse.
And this is a poll, remember, not of Latinos, or of Cuban-Americans across the country.
This past May, NBC News and The Wall Street Journal conducted a joint poll on body art.Masters of Alt Sex: SuicideGirls Hits Puberty and Wants to Invade Your TV Set|Marlow Stern|December 9, 2014|DAILY BEAST
I saw in the vision of my head upon my bed, and behold a watcher, and a holy one came down from heaven.
Neither shall they shave their heads, nor wear long hair: but they shall only poll their heads.
Since many of the Readjuster party members consisted of Negroes, the poll tax was repealed also.
In 1876, a law was passed which required the payment of a poll tax before voting in the state of Virginia.
Furthermore, a constitutional requirement demanded payment of three years' poll taxes six months before general elections.