Poll Watchers

What is a Poll Watcher?

Reporting Polling & Voter Data

A poll watcher is assigned and certified by a political party or a candidate to observe the election process. Poll watchers may gather information at polling places on behalf of the party or candidate they represent.

Training and Certification

Poll watchers must attend a public Watcher Training Course through the Colorado Secretary of State. They must be certified, in writing, and have a poll watcher certificate to give each polling place they visit. Please see the Elections Office or your political party representatives if you are interested in serving as a poll watcher and wish to obtain the required certificate.

Who May Appoint Poll Watchers for Elections

General Election or Congressional Vacancy Election
  • A political party chairperson on behalf of the party
  • An unaffiliated or write-in candidate
  • Registered issues committees for or against a ballot issue
Coordinated Election (School board, municipality or special districts, etc.)
  • A candidate
  • Registered issues committees 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
  • Registered issues committees for or against a ballot issue
  • A political party chairperson on behalf of a party involved in the recount

What Can a Poll Watcher Do?

A poll watcher may gather information in order to:

  • Determine how many affiliates of each political party have voted in a Primary election.
  • Determine how many people have voted at given times during the day.
  • Determine the names of persons who voted.
  • Determine whether or not the polling place is being supervised by the election judges according to law.

What Can a Poll Watcher Not Do?

  • A poll watcher is not allowed to handle any poll books, ballot logs, ballot supplies or ballots.
  • A poll watcher may not conduct any kind of electioneering within 100 feet of the polling place.
  • A poll watcher may not interfere with the voters or the duties of the election judges in any way.

Contact Us

If you see a poll watcher performing any activity not in accordance with the duties listed above, please contact the Elections Office immediately at 303-660-7444.

Poll Watcher Tools

Poll Watcher Certificate of Appointment

To become a poll watcher follow these steps:

  1. Take the Watcher Training Course offered through the Colorado Secretary of State, and print off your copy of this sample Certificate of Completion.
  2. Download the Certificate of Appointment & Oath of Watcher.
  3. This form must be completed prior to arrival.
  4. One form will be needed for each polling place that a watcher intends to visit.
  5. Once completed, return the Certificate of Appointment and Oath of Watcher, along with a copy of the Certificate of Completion for the Secretary of State’s Poll Watcher Course to the County Clerk and Recorder’s Election Division. These forms may be returned using the email address provided on this page.
  6. Once certified by the County Clerk and Recorder, you will be notified.
  7. Each watcher will be asked to sign in and out of each location they intend to visit.

Secretary of State’s Rules Concerning Watchers

The Colorado Secretary of State has provided Rule 8 for watchers.

Colorado Revised Statutes Governing Watchers

Colorado Revised Statutes that establish the rules and procedures of poll watchers.

1-7-105 C.R.S

1-7-106 C.R.S.

1-7-107 C.R.S

1-7-108 C.R.S.