What’s up with pole watchers?
President Donald Trump’s campaign says Republican poll watchers are being unreasonably forbidden to inspect ballot counts. Not so, say election officials in major battlegrounds, who said the rules were being followed and committed to transparency.
What is a pole water?
Someone supervising the voting or counting of votes.
Worked this year with monitoring record numbers of mail ballots, partisan poll watchers have been nominated by a political party or campaign to report any concerns. With some reports from over-aggressive polling watchers, election officials said they were carefully balancing access with the need to reduce blockages.
Pole watchers have been a central element of legal battles in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Nevada. The count was largely eliminated in Michigan, with work continuing into Pennsylvania and Nevada on Thursday, where a narrow margin separated Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
Surveillance of polling places and election offices is allowed in most states, but the rules are different and have some limitations to avoid any harassment or intimidation. The monitor is not allowed to interfere in the conduct of elections and is usually required to register in advance with the local elections office.
“We are proud of how transparent and safe our process has been. I know that the truth is in our favor. – Josélie Benson, Michigan’s top election official and a Democrat.