Poll Watcher Information

There are three categories of observers who are permitted in polling places:

  • “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 polling place/service center 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.

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.

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

You will be responsible for obtaining the signatures of the party chair, issue committee representative or candidate representative on each form, unless you have sent us an electronic signature. This portion of the form must be filled out and signed in order for the certificate to be valid.

Upon visiting a service center, poll watchers must present a completed and signed Appointment Certificate to the election judge supervisor.

When the certificate is presented a polling place or service center, the election judge supervisor will administer the poll watcher oath. Then both the election judge and the poll watcher must sign the oath on the certificate.

  • If appointed by a party, poll watchers must be affiliated with that party.
  • 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).

Election Day

Lists of who has voted will be kept at each polling place, and may be inspected by poll watchers. Note that voters are identified by Voter ID only, and not by name.

In order to make effective use of these lists it is highly recommended that you obtain a list of registered voters for your district well prior to Election Day.

These data files are in .csv format.

Early Voting

Lists of voters will not be posted at early voting sites. This data is available electronically, and uploaded each day during early voting.

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