Poll Watcher Information

There are three categories of observers who are permitted in Voter Service and Polling Centers or Ballot Processing areas:

  • “Official Observers” -- credentialed by Colorado Secretary of State or by federal government.
  • “Media Observers” -- credentialed members of news media.
  • “Poll Watchers” -- credentialed by county Clerk and Recorder. This page tells you how to get your poll watchers credentialed.

Who May Appoint Poll Watchers?

The following lists who is entitled to appoint poll watchers.

General Election or Congressional Vacancy Election
  • a political party chairperson on behalf of the party
  • an unaffiliated candidate
  • a write-in candidate
  • a registered issue committee for or against a ballot issue
Coordinated Election (Denver school board or special district)
  • a candidate
  • a registered issue committee for or against a ballot issue
Primary Election
  • a political party chairperson on behalf of the party
  • a party candidate on the ballot
Recall Election
  • the official subject to recall
  • a successor candidate on the recall ballot
Municipal Election
  • a candidate
  • registered issues committees for or against a ballot issue
Recounts
  • the candidate involved in the recount
  • a registered issue committee for or against a ballot issue
  • a political party chairperson on behalf of a party involved in the recount

Appointing authorities may fill out the Poll Watcher Appointment List spreadsheet, listing those people they wish to give poll watcher status to and the Voter Service and Polling Center or Ballot Processing area where they will be assigned.

Close family members (by blood or marriage) are prohibited from being poll watchers for a candidate in the precincts where they are on the ballot. Consult the Table of Consanguinity below. The yellow boxes denote prohibited family members.

Submit these lists as early as possible. Processing of poll watcher certificates starts about two weeks prior to an election. Do not wait until the last minute to submit your list.

All names on your appointment list will be checked for voter registration status. Then Appointment Certificates will be created and emailed to you.

The Form

To appoint poll watchers, use the Excel spreadsheet to list your appointees.  Email the completed spreadsheet to electionscomm@denvergov.org.

The Rules

Carefully read the state statute and Colorado Secretary of State Rules regarding poll watchers.

Upon visiting a Voter Service and Polling Center or Ballot Processing Center, poll watchers must present a completed and signed Appointment Certificate to the supervisor. When the certificate is presented, the supervisor will administer the poll watcher oath. Then both the supervisor and poll watcher must sign the oath on the certificate.

 

 


  • If appointed by a party, poll watchers must be affiliated with that party or unaffiliated.
  • If selected by an unaffiliated candidate, poll watchers must be unaffiliated.
  • Ballot opponents and proponents must be registered as such with the Colorado Secretary of State if a state ballot issue, or with the Denver Clerk and Recorder if a Denver issue.
  • Watchers need not be registered to vote in the county where they are watching, but must be registered to vote within Colorado.
  • Candidates and family members may not be poll watchers in the precincts where the candidate is running for office (see Table of Consanguinity information, at left).
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