What to Watch for at the Polls


Real and perceived problems at the polls have caused mistrust of the process, disenfranchised voters, and a weakening of our political system. To help ensure the fairness of this election, below are the most pressing concerns to watch for at the polls. If you believe any election law is being violated, immediately call the Hamilton County election administrator.

As a member of a Precinct Board, you are generally appointed by the party Chairman. Therefore, if a you or worker is told to leave or that they are not needed, under no circumstances should the worker or you do so without first communicating with your County Party Headquarters.


Within the polls or the chute, it is against the law for any person to express support or opposition for any candidate or political party in any manner that could reasonably be expected to convey support or opposition. This includes distributing or posting campaign materials within the building.


No poll worker may view a voter’s ballot (except in the case of bipartisan assistance of a voter). In instances where a poll worker suggests to a voter he or she did not vote in the correct manner, they are violating the voter’s rights. This behavior is absolutely prohibited, and you should ask anyone engaging in it to stop and call the election administrator if they do not cease.


A voter’s ID must display the voter’s photo, have a conforming name to the registration record, have an expiration date (but does not have to be current), and be issued by the state or U.S. government. If the ID does not qualify, or the voter refuses to produce it, the voter should complete a provisional ballot.


Voter Intimidation is placing pressure on a voter to vote in a particular way, or not at all. This includes violence or the threat of violence, attacks on polling places, legal threats, and economic threats. Intimidation of poll workers so the worker will not report an incident must also be guarded against. Please be cognizant of individuals loitering outside the polling place harassing voters.


An elderly or disabled voter may designate another to assist the disabled voter in the booth. This request must be made before entering the booth. The voter’s employer, union officer, or union representative may not be the one to assist the voter in the voting booth. In addition, a polling place Judge may not assist a voter without their counterpart. If no designation is made, both judges acting together must assist the voter in the booth.


All voters have the right to vote privately and independently, and no one may accompany a voter into the booth unless the voter specifically requests that someone do so before entering the booth. All voters must enter the polling place to cast a ballot; there is no “curbside voting.” If there is a problem with voter accessibility, please call your county election board.

Authored By: Hamilton County Reporter

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